As Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine once exclaimed, “chicks dig the long ball.” Let's be real though, everyone loves dingers! We continue our MLB odds series with a special 2023 regular season home run leader prediction and pick.

When Maddux and Glavine spoke, it was Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa chasing the 61-home run mark of Roger Maris. Last year, it was the excitement of Aaron Judge getting to the 62-home run mark that caught the attention of fans everywhere. With his 62 home runs, Judge easily led the league, but even if he hit 20 less, he would have been in the chase for the top mark in the MLB. Can Judge repeat, or will a new player take his crown?

Here are the MLB regular season home run leader odds, courtesy of FanFuel

MLB Odds: 2023 Regular Season Home Run Leader

Aaron Judge +550

Kyle Schwarber +950

Mike Trout +1000

Pete Alonso +1100

Yordan Alvarez +1100

Vladimir Guerror Jr. +1100

Austin Riley +2000

Why Aaron Judge Will Be the Regular Season Home Run Leader

The last time someone repeated as back-to-back home run champion was Jose Bautista in 2010 and 2011. Before that, it was Alex Rodriguez for the Texas Rangers who led the league in 2002 and tied for first place in 2003. It is a rarity, but it is entirely possible. The first thing Judge has working for him is the short right field porch at Yankee Stadium. Judge will get to play 81 games at home, where he hit 30 of his 62 home runs last season. This was also a major factor in his 2017 campaign when he hit 52 dingers, as 33 of them came at Yankee Stadium.

The second thing working for Judge is the new MLB schedule. The league balanced the schedule even more for the 2023 campaign, meaning Judge gets to face more National League pitching. In his most recent 20 games against NL opponents, Judge has ten home runs. He also gets a trip to Coors Field, the most hitter friendly ballpark in the majors, right after the All-Star break. If Judge takes it easy over the break, he can probably launch a few bombs there.

The biggest concern will be health. Judge played in 157 games last year and 148 in 2021, but the three years before that were plagued with injury issues. A lot of things work in Judge's favor, though, which is why he is the odds-on favorite to be the regular season home run leader for the second straight year.

Why Mike Trout Will Be the Regular Season Home Run Leader

Mike Trout has everything he needs to be the MLB's home run leader this year. The Los Angeles Angels have a strong lineup that can support Trout on most nights, assuming, of course, they can stay healthy. In previous seasons, teams could afford to pitch around Trout, but with star two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani right behind him in the lineup, that's not as good of an option as it used to be. If Anthony Rendon can put together a bounce-back campaign, Trout will have a lot of potential throughout the Angels lineup.

Further helping Trout's case is that he was great at home in 2022 for LA. Trout only played 57 games in his home ballpark, but he still managed to hit 21 home runs in those contests, which meant he was hitting a home run every 11.14 plate appearances in home games. Adjusting that to him playing 80 games at home (meaning only one game missed), puts him at 29.5 home runs, and even if he only plays 75 games at home, he would be slated to hit 28 home runs.

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According to StatCast, Trout also found his home run swing last year, with the highest barrel rate of his career, meaning he is making good contact. Assuming he can maintain his launch angle and carry this strong barrel rate in 2023, Trout will hit plenty of dingers if he stays healthy, making him a top candidate to be the 2023 regular season home run leader.

Why Pete Alonso Will Be the Regular Season Home Run Leader

According to Steamer projections on FanGraphs, Pete Alonso is expected to hit 38 home runs this season. That number has not led the MLB in a non-shorted season since 1976, so it's safe to say Alonzo will need to hit more than 38 bombs if he wants to lead the league in this category.

Alonso's track record shows us he can do this, though. In 2019 he led the league in home runs as a rookie with 53. Since then he has hit another 92 home runs over the past three seasons. Alonso's career splits show that he is averaging 44 home runs over a full 162-game season. This would be well above the 38 home run projection, and it would also put him in contention for the league lead too.

Alonso's StatCast HardHit percentage and Barrel percentage have also been steadily improving throughout his career. If he continues to improve in these departments, then his home run totals should increase as well. It's also worth noting that Alonso is slated for free agency after this season, which could be an added incentive for him to hit some dingers and get a big deal like Judge did this past offseason. All this makes Alonso a prime pick to be the MLB's 2023 regular season home run leader.

Why Kyle Schwarber Will Be the Regular Season Home Run Leader

Kyle Schwarber was the National League leader in home runs last season. His 46 home runs were second in all of the MLB behind only Judge, and he even missed time with a calf injury in August. Schwarber's 6.9 percent home run rate was the best of his career, as was his exit velocity. His StatCast numbers on HardHit percentage and Barrel percentage also were near the best of his career.

One thing that could help Schwarber will be the pitches he sees moving forward in 2023 and beyond. Schwarber struggled with the shift last year, and pitchers put pitches in places to make him hit into the shift. With the shift now gone, Schwarber may be seeing some better pitches to choose from, or at least some more mistakes over the middle of the plate.

Schwarber also will benefit from the sheer amount of at-bats he receives. The Philadelphia Phillies are not afraid to bat him in the lead-off spot, but with Trea Turner in town now, he will likely be batting second for most of the season. Still, batting second spot gives Schwarber 40-50 more plate appearances than he would get if he batted third, which gives him more shots to hit home runs. Schwarber is not the most decorated player on this list, but he has the power needed to be the regular season home run leader.

Why Austin Riley Will Be the Regular Season Home Run Leader

Austin Riley may just be the best third-baseman in all of baseball. Riley broke out in 2021 and hit 33 home runs, then followed that up with 38 more in 2022. In his last three seasons, Riley's HardHit percentage, FlyBall percentage, Home Run percentage, and Pull percentage have all increased, with a major jump being made in these categories last year. All these numbers suggest that Riley's swing is only becoming more and more powerful.

Riley's increasing experience in the MLB is also looking like it will help his case here. Riley's career numbers have indicated a late August into September cool-off, with his home run percentage dropping during that time. Last year, though, that drop was not nearly as drastic, and it could be that Riley is finally getting used to the grind of a full MLB season

Final 2023 Regular Season Home Run Leader Prediction and Pick:

The league leader for regular season home runs will be a tight race. There will be some unexpected fluctuations due to the new more balanced schedule the MLB has implemented that could throw a wrench in any of these players' cases. There is also the injury factor, as each of these stars will finish with fewer home runs if they get hurt. That may heavily apply to Trout, who has had some big injury issues in recent seasons.

There are plenty of guys with power that could take this crown that were not covered here, with Yordan Alvarez, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Shohei Ohtani, and Matt Olson being top picks as well. This year though, the crown goes to the young guy in Riley, who will finish with 47 home runs. Judge hits 45, Trout 44, Alonso 41, and Schwarber 39, but that is not enough to overcome the Braves star third baseman.

Final 2023 Regular Season Home Run Leader Prediction: Austin Riley hits 47 home runs

Final 2023 Regular Season Home Run Leader Pick: Austin Riley (+2000)