Our thoughts on the 2022 Home Run Derby, along with a pick and a possible longshot winner
The MLB All-Star Game will be played Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. However, baseball's ultimate power display will be featured tonight in the much-anticipated Home Run Derby.
This year's competition is marred by the glaring absence of the league's top home run hitter. Will this event have any real legitimacy with Aaron Judge noticeably missing from the lineup? The Yankees' superstar is enjoying a monster season, with 33 home runs, so far. That number not only leads the Major Leagues, it's also 4 dingers over the second-ranked player.
Nonetheless. the competition will go on. And Judge's absence may give us a better chance to cash a winning ticket.
The 2022 Home Run Derby is scheduled to start at 8:00 pm on Monday night (July 18th). The event is a three-round slugfest, with each batter getting three minutes to smack as many balls over the fence as possible. Eight players will compete.
Here's a look at the odds to win the 2022 Home Run Derby, according to SPREADS.CA:
The Favourite – Pete Alonso
Pete Alonso of the New York Mets is favoured for a reason. He is the two-time reigning champion and hopes to become the first player ever to win three HR titles in a row. He could join Ken Griffey Jr. as the only three-time winner.
We agree that Alsono deserves to be the top choice. But do we really want to go for the short odds at 2-1 (wagering 1.00 wins 2.00 in profit)?
Our Pick – Kyle Schwarber
We like Kyle Schwarber of the Philadelphia Phillies, priced at 3.3 to 1. That's a considerably higher payout for a player who bring just as much power to the plate. Schwarber ranks second in the Majors in homers this season (behind Judge), with 29 round trippers. The left-handed slugger has 18 home runs since June 1, three more than any other hitter over that period.
It’s been four seasons since Schwarber participated in the Home Run Derby, so we think he'll covet this opportunity. His last appearance was back in 2018. He was the runner-up that year, ultimately losing to Bryce Harper in the final round by a score of 19-18,
We think he's worth a bet.
The Longshot – Corey Seager
After heading to Texas in free agency, Seager is heading back to the site where he played the first seven seasons of his career: Dodger Stadium. That gives him some advantages with familiarity with the ballpark, which is always important when trying to predict short-span events. Things like lighting and being comfortable in the batting box are critical, and Seager's seven years spent in these confines has to be an advantage.
Even with his slow start this season, Seager already has 22 home runs. The most he’s had in a season coming into the year was 26 during his rookie season in 2016. The Rangers shortstop has been red-hot in July, with seven home runs -- tied for second-most in baseball -- including a streak of five consecutive games with a homer. If he gets hot, this longshot could be the surprise winner.
At 9 to 1 odds, Seager is probably the sleeper in the group.