Probably the most fun part of the MLB All-Star weekend is the coveted Home Run Derby. The past few years have been fun. Vladdy Jr. setting the record with 29 home runs in a single round and 91 total for the tournament. Bryce Harper's walk-off win at home. Aaron Judge winning in his MVP caliber year, and Cespedes going back-to-back in 2013-2014.
One thing we know for certain is that there will be a ton of dingers. At over 5,200 feet above sea level, Coors Field is the highest park in the MLB. With the low air density and high elevation from Colorado, we are going to see some mammoth home runs, maybe even a few toppling over 500 feet. Even with the "pushed-back fences" that the park possesses, for many years Coors Field gave up the most home runs in baseball.
This year won't disappoint with the talented roster presented, so let's check out the odds and who is the best bet for tonight's tournament.
Shohei Ohtani: +300
Joey Gallo: +450
Pete Alonso: +500
Matt Olson: +600
Salvador Perez: +800
Juan Soto: +800
Trevor Story: +900
Trey Mancini: +1200
1. Shohei Ohtani, Angels vs. 8. Juan Soto, Nationals
4. Salvador Perez, Royals vs. 5. Pete Alonso, Mets
3. Matt Olson, Athletics vs. 6. Trey Mancini, Orioles
2. Joey Gallo, Rangers vs. 7. Trevor Story, Rockies
Shohei Ohtani is the only competitor who ranks in the top five among MLB's home run leaders. He has made headlines all season and is constantly crushing the ball, what seems to be every at-bat. He leads the league with 33 and has shown in the past the showtime and power to win a derby.
The feel-good story of the night is Trey Mancini. The Baltimore Oriole returned this season after beating cancer, and all of America is rooting for him. Now he can compete with Olson, but if the A's slugger has a good night, it would take a lot for Mancini to move on. Then they would have to face off against the powerful lefty, Joey Gallo, but Olson is the better bet to emerge from this first-round matchup.
The No. 5 seed Met, Pete Alonso, is the only lower-seeded player to be favored in his opening-round matchup. He is up against the No. 4-seeded Salvador Perez. He would have to face off Ohtani, but let's not forget his last performance in the derby.
My Winner + Best Bet
Although Ohtani is the league leader and the favorite, and Pete Alonso is the reigning champion, It's Joey Gallo's world tonight and we are going to live it. The raw power, the easier bracket, the fact that he's coming in hot with 11 home runs in the last 13 games, this guy is the real deal. Gallo has 144 HR in his 7-year career, including back-to-back 40 yabo seasons in 2017 and 2018. He has 24 halfway through the season this year.
My Dark Horse
The hometown hero, Trevor Story, at +900. He has a tough path to it, especially facing Gallo in the first round. Bryce Harper won it back on his home turf in 2018, so it would be cool to follow this storyline too.