The Home Run Derby is slated for tomorrow, Monday, July 18, at Dodger Stadium.
If you’re unfamiliar with the Home Run Derby, it’s a competition between eight sluggers in the MLB who are placed in a bracket with seeding based on how many home runs they’ve hit on the year.
The bracket is head-to-head, and the slugger with the most home runs against their opponent will move on to the next round.
(Odds courtesy DraftKings)
1. Kyle Schwarber vs. 8. Albert Pujols
4. Juan Soto vs. 5. Jose Ramirez
The winner of 1 vs. 8 plays the winner of 4. vs. 5. in the semifinals.
3. Corey Seager vs. 6. Julio Rodriguez
2. Pete Alonso vs. 7. Ronald Acuna Jr.
The winner of 2 vs. 7 plays the winner of 3. vs. 6. in the semifinals.
The two semifinal winners will play in the finals.
2022 MLB Home Run Derby Odds
1. Kyle Schwarber (+330)
2. Pete Alonso (+200)
3. Corey Seager (+900)
4. Juan Soto (+600)
5. Jose Ramirez (+1600)
6. Julio Rodriguez (+1000)
7. Ronald Acuna (+600)
8. Albert Pujols (+2200)
We aim to come out of this Home Run Derby with a profit. Pete Alonso is the favorite, sitting at +200, despite being ranked second in the bracket. Alonso is going for a three-peat and has won the Derby two consecutive times, coming into tomorrow’s Derby in Dodger Stadium.
In the Home Run Derby, I enjoy betting on sluggers in other Home Run Derbys, and Alonso has experience in the Derby with two outright wins.
Schwarber vs. Pujols
Meanwhile, Kyle Schwarber, the number one seed, also has experience. He was runner-up against current teammate Bryce Harper in 2018, and Schwarber probably learned a few things from that Derby that he can bring to the table for this Derby. Schwarber has it easy going up against Albert Pujols to start things off.
While Pujols is one of the best all-time sluggers in the MLB, he will not have the stamina to compete at this stage at this level of his career. But it’ll be fun to see.
Anyway, Schwarber should be able to move to the semis to take on either Juan Soto or Jose Ramirez.
Soto vs. Ramirez
Soto is another veteran on the Derby list. He was in it for the first time last season and lost to Pete Alonso. Alonso didn’t make it close, but Soto should have a better feel for the Derby this year. Still, with all this contract and trade talk, Soto might not be there mentally this season.
He’ll take on Jose Ramirez, one of the underdogs in the Derby. Ramirez hasn’t participated in a Home Run Derby yet and will have to take on Soto, who has experience. I like Soto to come away with the first-round win over Ramirez, but it’s hard to trust Soto with everything going on, on the side.
Seager vs. Rodriguez
This is where things get interesting. Both of these two sluggers have similar, extremely long odds. However, one of these players has to make the semifinals. We’ve got to figure out which player will win this battle. Once we do that, we’ll hold at least a +900 ticket into the semifinals.
This matchup is where the value is if you can pick the winner. Corey Seager is probably going to be comfortable at Dodger Stadium. Seager is used to blasting shots near center field, but if he pulls the ball, I think he’ll have the opportunity to beat a rookie like Julio Rodriguez. Rodriguez is 21 years old and will have a ton of pressure under the spotlight. This could mean he’ll struggle, and I’ll take my chances with the veteran in Seager.
He’s the value play. However, he’ll have to face the winner of the battle between Alonso and Acuna. So that’s where things get challenging, of course.
Alonso vs. Acuna Jr.
Acuna Jr. didn’t get the best draw. He’ll have to take on the two-time champion and reigning champion, Pete Alonso. I already spoke about why Alonso could win the Derby. But Acuna Jr. is also a veteran in the Derby and has potential. To begin with, Acuna Jr. hasn’t been all that great this year and has just eight homers in 53 games this year. Maybe his ACL injury is still going to take time.
I’d side with Alonso here.
From my projections, I have Alonso vs. Seager and Schwarber vs. Soto. I know we usually get a ton of wrinkles in the Home Run Derby, and it usually doesn’t play out with the top four moving on. But this Derby feels different. Everyone wants to see Kyle Schwarber take on Pete Alonso in the finals. Those are two of the best NL sluggers in our game and two rivals between New York and Philadelphia.
I’m taking Pete Alonso to beat Kyle Schwarber in the Home Run Derby Finals. I know, shocking.
Bet: Pete Alonso (+200 at DraftKings)
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