2015 MLB Home Run Derby Odds and Pick
The 2015 MLB season takes a break after Friday’s MLB action, and all eyes will soon by on the MLB All-Star game. I’m sorry, let’s get more specific: all eyes will be on this year’s Home Run Derby.
Sure, the MLB All-Star game can be fun and ultimately dictates home field advantage for the 2015 World Series, but this was also a game that was once ended in a tie. On purpose.
The Home Run Derby is where most of the fun is at, and with changes that time the players and make it a little more exciting, it could be the best version of the derby baseball fans have ever seen.
It certainly could be the most stat-studded event when it comes to sheer power, as eight mashes go head to head to try to steal the crown.
Yoenis Cespedes won it in back-to-back tries in 2013 and 2014, but will not be back for a three-peat. Instead, Prince Fielder returns as the only past winner for this year’s event, which he took the crown for in 2009 and 2012. He could be an interesting bet with the third best Home Run Derby odds (11/2)
Todd Frazier leads the way with the best odds (7/2) and is followed close behind by Chicago Cubs rookie sensation, Kris Bryant (5/1). Both have been crushing it with stellar seasons, respectively, but Frazier has been far more impressive with a whopping 25 homers. Frazier is also the favorite after getting all the way to the final in 2014 and narrowly losing to Cespedes.
Bryant is no slouch (12 homers), but he arguably pales in comparison and his lack of experience has him behind Frazier. Oddsmakers could be showing a “prisoner of the moment” effect here, too, as Bryant may not be quite the threat his odds suggest.
The aforementioned Fielder rounds out the favorites in the top three, naturally, as he’s had loads of experience, has won the event twice and is also having a terrific 2015 season (13 homers, .345 batting average).
The favorites could certainly be in the mix, but in a field of eight strong hitters, there is bound to be a fun sleeper to target. There are several sleepers here, as Albert Pujols returns to the contest for the fourth time and it’d be fun if he finally got a win. He is absolutely crushing this year and leads the AL with 25 homers, so he’s a nice dark horse and comes in with the fourth best odds (6/1).
Anthony Rizzo is next up with 13/2 odds and he’s somehow down the list and behind teammate Kris Bryant despite smacking four more homers on the year. Chicago is the only team sporting two players in the event, so out of eight players you actually have better odds in theory if you pick one of these guys. Bryant has the popular vote and appeal, but Rizzo might actually be the better bet.
The bottom of this year’s Home Run Derby includes three guys with the same (7/1) odds. Manny Machado, Joc Pederson and Josh Donaldson round out the top sleepers to claim first place in the event.
Machado is a decent threat (19 homers on the year) and Pederson is right there with Bryant for Rookie of the Year honors (20 homers), but the top sleeper has to be Donaldson (21 homers). Donaldson is within striking distance for the AL MVP award and wouldn’t mind adding Home Run Derby champ to his 2015 wall of awards. He has an effortless swing and serious power, and he’s my favorite sleeper to take the crown.
The Pick: Albert Pujols
I really like two guys for this year’s event: Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder. These guys have been here before, Fielder has won twice and Pujols came awfully close 12 years ago. I think Pujols finally gets a win at the coveted event, and it makes a ton of sense considering the killer year he’s having at the plate.
Kris Bryant and Joc Pederson are sneaky, sexy picks, but I like the veterans to show the young pups how it’s done. That should have Fielder and Pujols making it far, with Pujols holding any finalists off for the win. His odds are good enough (6/1) to think it can happen, and they’re bad enough where you can make some coin back on your investment.
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