MLB Home Run Bets: Dinger Tuesday Picks for Kyle Tucker, Ronald Acuna Jr., Bobby Witt Jr. (May 14)

MLB Home Run Bets: Dinger Tuesday Picks for Kyle Tucker, Ronald Acuna Jr., Bobby Witt Jr. (May 14) article feature image
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(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) Pictured: Bobby Witt Jr.

One of the most popular promotions in the sports betting community is back: MLB Dinger Tuesday from FanDuel.

The promotion allows a user to bet $25 on one player in every MLB game played that day to hit a home run. Regardless of whether the player you bet on homers, you receive $5 in free bets back for each home run hit in the game, with a max return of $25 for the game.

Many users have been limited by FanDuel this season and are only allowed to receive a maximum $25 back in free bets — essentially five free homers back for the day in free bets. Last season, there were higher limits, usually $50, on the return in free bets for players.

Given the average number of home runs in an MLB game in 2023 was 2.20, you will receive an average of $12 in free bets back for each $25 home run bet you make, without accounting for the loss in expected value on the vig of the home run "yes" prop.

If you aren't limited, you should play as many games as you’re comfortable with because the promo is still plus-EV for most of the board. If you are limited to the max return of $25, an average of two-to-three games will return your $25 maximum in free bets.

Note: It could take just one game to reach the $25 ceiling if there are five homers in that game.

Here are my three favorite MLB home run bets for Dinger Tuesday on May 14.

Tuesday, May 14
8:10 p.m. ET
MLB.TV
Kyle Tucker (+400)

The game between Houston and Oakland has the highest home run projection of any game today, at 3.09. That means a $25 bet should earn, on average, a bit over $15 in free bets, or an approximate value of $9 and some change.

That made it my starting point for Dinger Tuesday, as my first goal is to maximize the expected value of the promotion. Then, I try to pick players who are more likely to hit a home run than their odds imply.

Fortunately, we're a bit spoiled for choice today. We have four Astros projected at better than +300 to homer, with all of them lined at that number or longer.

There's no reason to avoid lefties against Oakland starter JP Sears, who has allowed a slightly higher slugging percentage and wOBA to fellow lefties throughout his career. Of course, a good chunk of the at-bats will come against the bullpen anyways.

My favorite among those Astros is Kyle Tucker. It's a bit chalky given that he leads the Astros with 13 home runs this season, but his underlying numbers all support his power surge. Both his hard-hit rate and flyball rate are over 50%, and his barrel rate and average exit velocity are both up from his career marks.

We have him projected for fair odds of around +285 to homer today, well better than the +400 line on FanDuel.

Tuesday, May 14
7:20 p.m. ET
MLB.TV
Ronald Acuna Jr. (+400)

Despite the eight-run total, we have this game projected just behind Oakland-Houston for the most home runs on the slate, at 3.02. Much of that is driven by the Braves' powerful lineup, but don't ignore the Cubs today. They have a difficult matchup with Chris Sale, but a 133 wRC+ against southpaws this season.

The better values are on the Braves side, but a homer or two from Chicago obviously helps with the promo side of this play.

Cubs starter Jameson Taillon has only allowed two dingers this year, but his flyball rate is over 40%, he doesn't strike out many hitters and he has an unsustainable 6.3% HR/FB ratio that's largely aided by three of his four starts being at Wrigley field. This game is in Atlanta, where conditions should be more favorable for hitters.

My favorite play for the Braves is Ronald Acuna Jr., who's having a down year by his standards, but leads our projections for homers from the Braves. He's due for some positive regression, with his hard-hit rate right around his career average, but his HR/FB ratio half of his career number.

He's being priced closer to his 2024 production (just three home runs) rather than his potential — 40+ home runs in every season in which he played at least 120 games.

Tuesday, May 14
9:40 p.m. ET
MLB.TV
Bobby Witt Jr. (+500)

Personally, I'm only using the above two selections, since the combined projection should get us over the $25 free bet cap. However, if you're looking for a third option, you could do worse than Bobby Witt Jr..

His HR/FB ratio is below 8% this season, despite an overall uptick in offensive production. His Barrel Rate, Hard-Hit% and fly ball rate are all career bests, and he's coming off a 30-home run 2023 campaign.

This year he's on pace for just under 20, but that should turn around for him at some point given his underlying numbers.

Especially today against Mariner's starter Logan Gilbert, whose flyball rate is solidly above league average and he's already allowed six home runs through eight games this season.

I'd feel better about this pick in a different ballpark, but with five-to-one odds, we can afford to reach a little bit on Witt.

(Maximize your Dinger Tuesday action with our FanDuel promo code.)

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