We are less than 24 hours from the first pitch on opening day, and Juan Soto opens the season at home against the Colorado Rockies. Check out our MLB odds series as we hand out an over/under on regular season home runs for Juan Soto prediction and pick.
Soto is just 24-years-old, but he is one of the most exciting players in all of baseball. He has 125 home runs in 617 games over his five years at the big league level. He will be playing his first full season for the San Diego Padres in 2023, and will look to build upon his already strong career.
2023 MLB Odds for Juan Soto Regular Season Home Runs, Courtesy of FanDuel
Juan Soto Over/Under Regular Season Home Run Odds
Over: 28.5 (-113)
Under 28.5 (-113)
Why Juan Soto Can Hit the Over
Soto has some unreal power. He hit 34 home runs in 2019 and 29 home runs in 2021. He ended up struggling when he was traded to the Padres during the 2022 season, but with Washington, Soto hit 21 home runs in 101 games. It is safe to say that his second half for San Diego was a little bit of a fluke. He finished with his lowest career batting average after hitting .242 in 2022. However, do not expect that to repeat in 2023. Before last season, Soto had never hit below .282. Soto will hit for a better average as he gets more comfortable in San Diego. A better average means more hits, which in turn would mean more home runs.
Soto plays in a lot of hitter friendly ball parks. He will face the San Francisco Giants, Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Dodgers the most throughout the season. Those three stadiums were among the most hitter friendly parks in 2022. With Soto playing 20 or more games in these stadiums, he will have plenty of chances to get the ball in the air and drive it over the fence.
Another reason Soto can hit the over is his overall health. Soto has played over 150 games in each of his last three seasons (not including 2020). This type of playing time will give him a lot of at-bats and a lot of opportunities to go yard.
Why Juan Soto Can Hit the Under
One reason Juan Soto might hit the under actually helps his overall stats. Soto ranks in the 100th percentile in walk rate and chase rate. This means Soto does not chase pitches and he takes his walks. With Soto’s ability to hit for a high average and put the ball over the fence, pitchers will pitch around him. Soto will not swing at those pitches out of the zone, so he will not get as many recorded at-bats.
Soto will also have to face pitchers such as Clayton Kershaw, Julio Urias, Madison Bumgarner and Kyle Freeland. Those are all solid left-handed starting pitchers. In 2022, Soto hit just .210 with 7 home runs when facing a lefty. Teams will definitely play the matchup against him and throw a lefty late in the game as well. Soto needs to get most of his home runs off of right-handed pitchers if he wants to hit 29 or more home runs this season.
Final Over/Under on Juan Soto Regular Season Home Runs Prediction and Pick
Juan Soto is as talented a hitter as anyone in all of baseball. He has the ability to hit the ball to all fields and that is what makes him so hard to get out. He also does not chase pitches, which will help him in the long run. He did not hit this mark because of the weak second half he had last season with the Padres. Even with the struggles, he finished with 27 home runs, though. In the previous two full seasons he played, he had 29 and 34 home runs. Juan Soto should crush the over in 2023.
Final Over/Under on Juan Soto Regular Season Home Runs Prediction and Pick: Over 28.5 (-113)
The post 2023 MLB Odds: Over/Under on Juan Soto Regular Season Home Runs appeared first on ClutchPoints.