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Betting on Mike Trout & MLB stat leaders in 2020

Trout is the favorite to lead the AL in batting average & runs scored this year

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at St. Louis Cardinals
Mike Trout has led the American League in runs scored four times.
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The counting stat leaderboards are going to look so weird this season, with a 60-game schedule that is the shortest major league season since 1878. But as with most things sports-related, we can gamble on what the stat leaders will achieve in 2020.

The oddsmakers at BetOnline have given us prop bets for this year, including 8/1 odds on whether someone will hit .400 in the truncated season. They also set over/under totals for several counting stats, and what better way to introduce them than to see if Mike Trout has achieved these in the first 60 games of any season?

Thanks to the wonderful Baseball-Reference Stathead game finder, now we can. Now, to the over/unders:

Home run leader: 19½

Trout’s best here was 19 home runs in the Angels’ first 60 games in 2018, on his way to hitting 39 on the season. So he just misses here.

Highest batting average: .345

Trout hit .349 through the team’s first 60 games in his rookie season of 2012, though because he wasn’t called up until April 28 that year he falls 15 plate appearances short of qualifying in a 60-game set. Trout’s next best 60-game start was hitting .337 in 2017.

RBI leader: 47½

Trout’s best here is 43 RBI in the first 60 games of 2016, a year that saw him finish with 100 runs batted in. That was one of three seasons Trout had 100 RBI, which don’t come easy since 69 percent of his career plate appearances have come batting first or second.

Run leader: 47½

In 2018, Trout surpassed this with 49 RBI in the Angels’ first 60 games.

Hits leader: 78½

Trout falls just short here with 73 hits his best through 60 games, in 2013. It’s harder to rack up high hit totals while averaging 99 walks per season.

Stolen base leader: 21

Trout’s best through 60 games is 13 stolen bases, done three times (2012, 2013, 2018). I thought he might have a shot here since he did lead the American League with 49 steals as a rookie, but alas.

So Trout has only reached one of these six benchmarks through the first 60 games of a season. But he’s also among the favorites to lead several categories, whatever the totals.

BetOnline has Trout as the favorite to lead the American League in batting average (6/1 odds) and runs scored (15/4 odds). He’s never won a batting title, though Trout has led the league in runs four times.

Angels third baseman Anthony Rendon has 9/1 odds to lead the AL in batting average, and 16/1 odds to lead in hits. David Fletcher has 14/1 odds to win the batting title.

Trout also has 11/1 odds to lead the majors in home runs, tied with Aaron Judge of the Yankees for third-best odds. The only players with better odds to lead in homers are Joey Gallo (8/1) and Pete Alonso (10/1).