Grab yourself a six-pack and cash in those free bets – we’re celebrating the most exciting All-Star event in all professional sports – the MLB Home Run Derby.
If it wasn’t already thrilling and shiny enough, the 38th Annual Home Run Derby will take place in Hollywood, home to the stars.
The only thing getting slapped on Monday is homers, thankfully. Without further adieu, here’s everything you need to know for Monday night’s showdown and all the bets that will make you richer than Bryce Harper.
Home Run Derby Matchups
THE HOME RUN DERBY BRACKET IS HERE
Who's your pick to win? pic.twitter.com/IpqpZ6WpCs
— ESPN (@espn) July 14, 2022
Kyle Schwarber (1) +290 v. Albert Pujols (8) +2200
The Philadelphia Phillies’ biggest surprise of 2022 will have a chance to defend his National League-leading 28 home runs. Schwarber’s no stranger to the event either, placing as runner-up in 2018 to none other than now-teammate Bryce Harper.
This article is truly a Phillies hype piece disguised as gambling advice, so we’re hammering Schwarber.
All of Kyle Schwarber’s home runs with the Phillies pic.twitter.com/PEZdQD5sBT
— John Foley (@2008Philz) July 12, 2022
If you’re feeling cheeky, Pujols, who only has five homers on the year, has seen better days, but at +2200 on FanDuel, it’s worth $10 for what would be a historical exclamation point for the career of the long-time St. Louis Cardinal.
Not to mention, rooting for the Blue-Haired special candidate would be fun.
Pete Alonso (2) +185 v. Ronald Acuna Jr. (7) +700
Reining champ two years running, Alonso might feel a bit disrespected coming in as the #2 seed to rival Schwarber. Still, the Metropolitan remains the favorite.
4 years ago today, Pete Alonso broke Statcast with his home run off Adonis Medina.
It was 415 feet, at a 46 degree launch angle, and had an exit velocity of 113.6 mph.
An angle and velocity combo that had never been recorded before.
— Michael Mayer (@mikemayer22) July 15, 2022
The Polar Bear is a good bet but not a fun one. He’ll probably win again, but are you comfortable putting money on the success of a New York Met? I’m not.
He draws another NL East-er in Acuna Jr., so a little tasty treat as the fight for the division tightens. Let’s ignore this one as Phillies fans. Your heart shouldn’t outweigh your wallet in most cases, but I’m not touching either one of these.
Corey Seager (3) +1000 v. Julio Rodriguez (6) +1000
This is by far the most exciting matchup. Seager’s been showing off his power the last couple of weeks, which is why I traded him in fantasy. Too much success can be a bad thing; ask my writing career.
I’m putting a little nest egg on Seager to win the whole thing. These are good odds for someone that could win.
Rodriguez has a bit of intrigue as well. The ‘rookie-sensation’ (I hate saying that) could be a nice callback to a young Ken Griffrey Jr. making a splash at the same event. Obvious parallels aside, this kid is just fun to watch.
JULIO RODRIGUEZ IS SOMETHING ELSE
— MLB Walk Offs & Game Winning Plays (@MLBWalk_Offs) July 16, 2022
I know what you’re thinking – ‘is this guy putting money on everyone in the HRB,’ to which I reply, yes, I am. That’s why I’m writing gambling advice, and you’re just reading it.
Juan Soto (4) +650 v. Jose Ramirez (5) +1600
Is anyone else tired of the dominance of the NL East? Soto returns amidst an average season by standards, but it still feels like he could win. Vegas agrees, giving him the 3rd best odds in the field. The old Soto swagger boost.
Nationals tried to lock up Juan Soto for 15 YEARS and he said nope pic.twitter.com/UjnUvKubPB
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) July 16, 2022
My friend Frank Fowler, of SEC Network fame, would kill me if I didn’t mention J-Ram – the first Cleveland Guardians player to reach the Home Run Derby since Carlos Santana in 2019. Honestly, I thought Santana was on the Phillies in 2019, so if you’re still reading, that’s your loss.
Best Bet & Winner/Runner-Up
You’re likely here because you’re a Phillies fan, and I won’t disappoint you. As previously mentioned, we’re going in on Schwarber to win the whole thing, and if you bet today, $10 down on the big man nets you $29.
We’re going to spread our money around, though, and it’s on Pujols, Seager, and Soto.
Even just $5 on Pujols returns $110, and if you believe at all that they fix major league sports, it’s a good time to invest in the 42-year-old.
Seager and Soto make sense because they could win! They have decent odds.
If you’re a coward, and I’m sure you are, or you wouldn’t be looking for gambling advice, the field versus Alonso is -250. He isn’t winning again. Watch me eat those words.
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Matt Slocum