Home Run Props

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Tue Nov 15

Everyone loves the long ball. That's why home run props have become one of the most popular props in all of MLB betting, even if the pricing is often bad.

Sportsbooks sometimes list home run props a little differently -- "player to hit a home run" or "over/under 0.5 home runs." We list them as over/unders in our props comparison tool.

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Even the best hitters only hit a home run once every few games. So you can always find plus-money on a player to hit a home run. Mike Trout for example homered in eight straight games and is listed at +260 at DraftKings to hit a home run, and -380 to not hit a home run.

Home Run Prop Example

In the Trout example, here are the payouts:

  • $10 wins $26 if he hits a home run
  • $38 wins $10 if he doesn't hit a home run

Because these props can be hard to price, sportsbooks bake in a big house edge. This Trout prop comes with a 6.95% edge when adding up both implied probabilities while a normal moneyline or point spread will be between 4-5%. 

How Are Home Run Props Priced?

Sportsbooks aren't going deep on park factors or weather to determine home run prop lines. Instead, they're the percentage of games a player hits a home run in, converting it to probabilities, then adding a big house edge to cover themselves.

Trout has homered in 31 of his 98 games in which he started. That's good for an implied probability of +216 -- add the house edge, and DraftKings has him priced at +205.

Here are the basic factors that go into home run props:

  • Spot in the batting order: Hitting first in the order will give you an extra plate appearance against a player hitting ninth, which increases the chance of hitting a home run because you'll have 20% more at-bats, in all likelihood.
  • Player ability and profile: Namely, how often do they hit home runs.
  • Opposing pitcher: The opposing pitcher will play a factor, too. Trout was +225 against Tigers starter Drew Hutchinson on Wednesday but +265 against Houston's Lance McMullers, a much better pitcher than Hutchinson.