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Home Run Derby: July 18

By Mitchell Blair

Baseballs will be flying out of Dodger Stadium tonight as the 2022 Home Run Derby takes place with Pete Alonso looking to make it three straight titles. Seven others who have frequently watched their fly balls sail over the wall looking to prevent the New York Mets first baseman from joining Ken Griffey as three-time winners.

Alonso (call him three-Pete Alonso if he wins) is the favourite (+300 on Coolbet) and he probably should be, especially when you consider New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge is not participating.  One remembers what type of show Alonso put on at homer-happy Coors Field last season when he hit a grand total of 74 dingers.

There is value and an element of luck when choosing who will win. This is an individual game and not a team game so a lot of different factors will come into play. When you look at the field, is there a lot separating the eight players who will take part? You have Alonso, the soon-to-be hall of famer Albert Pujols, the future of the game in Juan Soto, Julio Rodriguez and Ronald Acuna Junior along with seasoned vets Jose Ramirez, Corey Seager and Kyle Schwarber.  

I would really love to take Rodriguez, but this is the first time the Seattle Mariners rookie has been on the all star stage and while he certainly should be making many more appearances at this game, I just don’t think he will have what it takes this year to win----that and the fact he goes up against Alonso in the 2nd round if both advance. Rodriguez would be a great dark horse candidate and he apparently put on quite a show this past weekend in Texas at a mock derby hitting 38. There is some juice in taking him, but when I take a look as to how this could go down, I am going to take Phillies slugger Kyle Schwarber. All this guy does is hit homers. He goes into the game having hit 28 with a majority of them if not all of them coming from the leadoff spot as he currently sits in second in the majors when it comes to homers. His swing is perfect for this type of event and with this being his second derby, I think he can take it.

Looking at the books, I see Schwarber at +300 on Coolbet which is where I will put my money down. What intrigues me is the longest homer of the night. You know there will be a lot of mammoth shots hit, but who gets the longest. Again, if Judge was participating I would take him in a heartbeat and one only wonders how far Vladimir Guerrero could hit one. I am going to lean towards Juan Soto on this one. He hit one 521 feet last year in Denver and while I don’t think he can hit one that far in LA, it will be fun to watch him try. You can find Soto to hit the longest HR at +493 on Sports Interaction.

Enjoy the derby!  

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