2016 Home Run Derby – Picks and Preview

Tonight is one of my favorite events of the season.  Sure, it can drag a little long at times, and sure, many of the guys you really WANT to see up there swinging the bat opt out of the event (sound familiar NBA fans??) but there is still something so childlike-awesome about watching the best hitters on Earth smack baseballs 450-feet over the wall for a few hours.

Last year we went a crazy 7-7, nailing every single round of the Homerun Derby and cashing in a nice winning ticket.  Does that make this a wager to bank on?  Heck no!  Homerun Derby is fun.  Having a wager on a favorite hitter or two makes it a little more fun.  But please keep in mind, unlike the streak we take into the All Star Break of 11-2 ATS (thanks last night MadBum!), there is a lot less skill involved in handicapping an exhibition type event like tonight.

That said, I’d still like to cash a winning ticket tonight, so here is my Home Run Derby 2016 Preview.

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HOMEUN DERBY 2016 – Preview and Value Wagers

The Favorites:  It is hard to go into any contest that involves hitting baseballs a million miles and not recognizing Giancarlo Stanton as an obvious favorite.  No one hits the ball further or with more exit velocity than the Miami slugger.  He has had some real-lie struggles this season, but no one is buzzing him inside and then throwing a cutter away tonight.  They will be groove-balls that should allow his awesome strength and stamina do the rest.  He is the Vegas favorite at +350.

A secondary favorite is another dude with strength a plenty, which is necessary in an event where the hitters do more of the work than the pitchers – there is no 95 mph steamer coming in to aid the distance, the power needs to be generated at the dish, and Mark Trumbo can supply more than ample juice.  The slugger is the #1 seed as he enters with 26 real-life homeruns this season and has a favorable opening draw in Corey Seager.  Trumbo is a nice value at +375.

Middle of the Pack:  The middle of the pack includes the defending champion Todd Frazier (+600), a young power hitter who has finally broken through in the majors in Wil Myers (+550) and another slugger with a similar breakthrough in 2016 in Adam Duvall (+600).  Of the three, Myers is my favorite to advance and do some damage.  Frazier doesn’t have the hometown juice this season and Duvall has a nice stroke but not quite the same massive power as the favorites.   Myers is the hometown guy playing in his own park – VERY pitcher friendly Petco.  He has homered here against live pitching all season long.  That is a HUGE edge tonight.

Longshots:  Robinson Cano has the worst odds of the eight (+1000), likely because of the opening round head-to-head with Stanton, but he is a former champ and has plenty of pop in his bat to upset Stanton and get hot.  CarGo has plenty of power, but tonight ain’t at Coors Field.  I like Carlos Gonzalez (+900) to bow out early, and Corey Seager is a deserbing All Star and hands-down Rookie of the Year, but tonight’s event is better suited to the bigger guys like Trumbo and Stanton.

My Picks – First Round:

I’ll take the favorite Trumbo over Seager easily, meeting Giancarlo Stanton in the second round.  On the bottom half of the bracket, I’ll take Frazier over CarGo and Wil Myers over Adam Duvall.


The matchup of the night will be Trumbo and Stanton in Round Two.  Both are the biggest bats in the tournament and have insane power.  It will take extra power tonight as the HR Derby is in a pitcher’s park as opposed to some of the launching pads in year’s past.  On the bottom half, I’ll take Wil Myers homefield knowledge to power him past Frazier.  Look for Frazier to have a lot of balls fall 10-15 feet short in round two.

FINAL:  This park needs POWER.  Giancarlo provides it more simply than any other player in the field.  I’ll take the chalk pick to win the crown and get a little much-needed shine during a so far frustrating season.