The MLB Home Run Derby takes place tonight in Los Angeles. Once again, the field is comprised of perennial power hitters. There are some repeat contenders, mixed with young stars. Here are a few of my predictions for this years contest:
Darkhorse: Corey Seager
Seager has a lot of pop for a shortstop. He has displayed this through the first half of the season as he leads the MLB in homeruns for a shortstop. He is a bit of an underdog as he is not the biggest or most powerful guy in the field. This may help him as we have seen many of the best power hitters struggle with stamina which could favor Seager.
My Favorite: Albert Pujols
Picking Pujols is an obvious choice for who I would love to see win it. Do I think he will? No. Would it be really cool if he did? Yes. Pujols is a Cardinals legend, and as a Cardinals fan, nothing would be better than if he went out there and put on a show one final time. Here’s to hoping the old guy in the field can turn back the clock and shock the world.
Favorite to win: Pete Alonso
Alonso is going for his third straight Home Run Derby title, so it only makes sense he is the betting favorite here. He has already done it twice and due to his production so far this year, there is no reason to think he can’t do it again. He has the raw power that most winners have. This will allow him to not run out of energy due to swinging too hard. He has the tools. Let’s see if he can do it again.
My pick to win: Juan Soto
This is actually a bit of an upset pick here. Soto has competed before and not quite put all of the pieces together. I think this experience plays a big factor as the hitters now how to pace themselves. Plus, the added motivation of losing last year to Alonso brings a different element to his game. Dodger field doesn’t have a notable “short porch” as the dimensions are even all the way around the outfield fence. Soto doesn’t need any help as he is one of the most powerful guys in the field this year. He is also one of the younger competitors which potentially gives him the edge in energy needed to win this event.
The Home Run Derby begins tonight at 7 p.m. CT. Let’s see how my predictions play out.