MLB Picks: MLB All-Star Game is Here and it Starts with the Home Run Derby
by Matt Cash @MattCashCapper
Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge are the two most exciting home run hitters in the game. Cody Bellinger hasn’t stopped hitting homers since his late April call-up. Gary Sanchez’ record breaking home run hitting as a rookie last August won’t soon be forgotten.
If you are going to dial up a home run derby for the 2017 All-Star game, getting these four players to commit is about a good a start as any.
Adding to the drama is the fact that Stanton gets a chance to defend his title in his home park, what with the All-Star game taking place in Miami.
As for the rules? These are the same ones that have been in place since 2015. The players are seeded one through eight and there are two brackets.
Stanton, Sanchez, Mike Moustakas and Miguel Sano are in one group. Judge, Bellinger, Charlie Blackmon and Justin Bour are in the other.
The winners of round one will continue to the semifinals and then the winners of each group will face off in the finals.
In each round, batters will have four minutes to hit as many homers as possible. If two home runs travel at least 440 feet, that batter will have an extra 30 seconds added to their time. The score resets at the start of each new round.
The player with the greater number of regular season home runs will hit second in each round.
Here’s the skinny on each batter in order of seeding:
- Stanton (+200): Broke all records last year hitting 62 home runs along with the 20 hardest hit balls. He’s hit seven home runs in each of the first three months of the year, and already has four in July to run his total to 25 on the season.
- Judge (+200) has taken the league by storm as a 25-year old rookie. He leads the Majors with 30 home runs. He hit 10 homers in June and another three already in July.
- Bellinger (+650) It’s amazing to think he’s just 21-years old and has already hit 25 home runs in less than 2.5 months in the Majors. But he may be cooling down in July, hitting just .227 with one home run and two RBIs.
- Moustakas (+1400) For the first two months of the season he essentially was the Royals offense. The veteran has already set a career best with 25 home runs this year and hit eight in June and already has four in July.
- Sano (+700) is just 24 years old and one of the most exciting young players in the game. The Twins third baseman has been hot in July hitting .342 with three home runs.
- Blackmon (+1400) is seeded sixth, but has the longest odds. He’s the Rockies leadoff hitter, so his 20 home runs from that slot is impressive. He’s also hot in July hitting .364 with three home runs
- Bour (+1400) is the other Marlin in the tournament. The slugging first baseman has 20 homers, just three off his career best. He has hit two out in July and had three in all of June.
- Sanchez (+1200) only has 13 home runs this year and after a hot June where he hit nine out, he’s yet to hit a home run and has just one RBI and a .231 average in July.
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