The television numbers are not what they used to be, but this event before the All-Star game is still worth a look for viewers on a slow Monday night. For those betting baseball, you have options this evening, being able to wager on who wins the crown of 2013 Home Run Derby champion.
In our opinion, the best choices to win the Derby are players with a natural upper cut swing and with power. In reviewing the list of winners since 1990, only Miguel Tejada (2004) and Ryne Sandberg (1990) did not truly fit those characteristics.
Here are the current odds at Sportsbook.ag to win the crown as king of the Home Run Derby.
Chris Davis +350
Prince Fielder +400
Pedro Alvarez +500
Bryce Harper +550
Robinson Cano +550
Yoenis Cespedes +600
David Wright +1000
Michael Cuddyer +1300
Let’s start with local favorite David Wright, who will have the benefit of the home crowd at Citi Field and may make the second round, but his swing is not conducive to launching bombs pitch after pitch. Michael Cuddyer is having a phenomenal first half for Colorado but his swing path is not set up to succeed here. Oakland’s Yoenis Cespedes fits the bill for strength, but he’s more a power hitter who drives the ball rather than elevates it, thus we knock him out.
Bryce Harper and Pedro Alvarez are interesting choices and either one is capable of putting on a show for New York fans. Alvarez in particular is a threat, having gone to high school in New York, yet we see both players burning up a great deal of energy early, with the tank empty should either reach the finals.
This leaves three of the past four winners of the Derby plus a slugger who has the most balls over the fence at the break in 44 years. Prince Fielder is the defending champion and also won this in 2009 when he was with Milwaukee. Fielder, despite his build is exceptionally strong and has the quick swing to generate power and reduce arm weariness.
Robinson Cano might be the enemy to many Mets fans, but tonight, he’s a New Yorker and will have crowd support. Cano was a surprise winner two years ago and though he will not hit many prodigious shots, he will keep pumping the horsehide over the barrier. Both Cano and Fielder have an understanding about pacing yourself and not using up all your energy in the first round.
This leads to the favorite, Chris Davis who is having an unbelievable campaign. His 37 long balls are the most at the All-Star break by an AL player since a brash 23-year old named Reggie Jackson burst on the scene. Davis is strong, but his discipline and plate coverage for a power hitter has been sensational, which is why his slugging percentage of .717 is on a historic journey. People last year talked about Miguel Cabrera’s magical Triple Crown season, but if Davis can finish the year with a .700 slugging percentage, we would be the first to do so since Ted Williams in 1957.
This might seem boring, but the idea is to win your bets and for our money Davis is the best choice because he can blast the ball to all parts of the park (his 11 home runs to left field are the most by a left-handed hitter).
There are also prop bets for the Home Run Derby and in head to head matchups, we will take Davis naturally against all comers and wager against Cuddyer. Another prop has Wright as the favorite to hit the LEAST amount of home runs in the first round and while the Mets third baseman and Cuddyer seem like naturals, we will take Cepedes, who like the Rockies outfielder had to fly three time zones to reach the Big Apple.