MLB Home Run Derby preview and picks
The annual appetizer for the MLB All-Star Game – the Home Run Derby – is set for Monday night (8:00 p.m. ET, ESPN) at Coors Field. Eight of the best power hitters in baseball have assembled for this bracket-style challenge, including 2019 Home Run Derby champion Pete Alonso of the New York Mets.
Let’s highlight three sluggers that fans and bettors will want to keep an eye on in the 2021 Home Run Derby.
2021 MLB Home Run Derby Odds
The favorite: Shohei Ohtani (+290)
The “Japanese Babe Ruth” is at long last living up to his advanced billing in 2021. Not only is Ohtani pitching well enough to be a member of the AL All-Star roster, but he’s also leading the majors in home runs, clubbing 33 before the break.
Though health has been an issue for Ohtani over his brief MLB career, his power has never been in question. However, chalkplayers should note that Ohtani has only taken six career at-bats in Denver, tallying just one hit.
Solid alternative: Pete Alonso (+550)
Alonso is looking to become the first back-to-back winner of the Home Run Derby since Yoenis Cespedes did it in 2013 and 2014.
The Mets first baseman got off to a slow start in 2021 but seems to have hit his stride, clubbing six home runs since June 28. He has the power to produce some towering shots, as he smacked several tape measure bombs when he paced the majors in home runs as a rookie in 2019 (53).
Bet against the “Polar Bear” at your own peril, as Alonso is 10-for-22 (.455) lifetime at Coors Field with three taters.
Live longshot: Trevor Story (+800)
The Coors Field crowd will certainly be behind Colorado Rockies shortstop Trevor Story on Monday night despite a somewhat slow start to the season for him.
Story has 11 home runs through 77 games in 2021, though he’s hit as many as 37 longballs in a season (2018). He’ll avoid both Ohtani and Alonso until the final round, based on the way the bracket was set up.
Three sluggers have won the Home Run Derby in their own ballpark since the competition began in 1985: Ryne Sandberg (1990), Todd Frazier (2015), and Bryce Harper (2018).