One of the most exciting parts of not just the All Star Game, but the entire MLB season is already upon us. The home run derby is something every fan looks forward to at the midpoint of the season and this year is shaping up to be another good one. You have defending champ Todd Frazier returning, the 2016 HR leader Mark Trumbo getting the #1 seed, the local fan favourite Wil Myers and the young gun Corey Seager of the Dodgers getting an opportunity after a blistering June.
Just to remind everyone, the rules were changed last year to make things just that little more exciting and will remain in place, unchanged for 2016.
- Each competitor will have four minutes to hit as many HR’s as possible
- In the first round and Semi-finals, the batter can take one 45 second timeout
- In the finals, the batter can take two 45 second timeouts
- If a competitor can hit two HR’s that each equal or exceed 440 feet, they will be awarded thirty seconds of bonus time
- Ties in any round will go to a 60 second swing off with no time outs or additional time added
- In the event that there is still a tie after 60 seconds, batters will engage in successive three swing swing offs until a winner is determined
How could you not be excited watching the game’s best sluggers go head to head? It brings backs memories of some of the best hitters of the long ball in Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Ken Griffey Jr and Mark McGwire. Will 2016 provide any highlights that will live long in the memory? The head to head bracketing has spiced things up from the previous format, let’s take a look at Round 1 matchups and predictions.
Round 1 Matchups
(1) Mark Trumbo v Cory Seager (8)
Mark Trumbo is legit this season with 28 HR’s already to his name, averaging a home run every 13 at bats. His favourite spot is inside and his swing will really suit the dimensions of Petco Park as the left field wall is just 336 feet down the line. Seager exploded in May and June with a combined 15 HR’s but he won’t have enough power or consistency to put Trumbo away.
Bet: Mark Trumbo WIN ($1.55)
(4) Robinson Cano v Giancarlo Stanton (5)
Cano actually won this event back in 2011 and it was one to remember with his dad being the pitcher on the night. He only has 20 HR’s on the season and just went 17 games without a HR for Seattle. Stanton meanwhile is coming in red hot, knocking out four HR’s in his last 26 at bats including an absolute monster at Citi Field. He’ll get the business done here.
Bet: Giancarlo Stanton WIN ($1.50)
(3) Adam Duvall v Wil Myers (6)
Duvall is in the midst of a career year and an invite to the HR Derby is definitely warranted, but he comes up against the hometown guy in Myers. It was just last year that Todd Frazier rode the Cincy crowd all the way to the title and it might just happen again in San Diego, at least in Round 1 it will. Myers with the upset and the advantage swinging for the fences.
Bet: Wil Meyers WIN ($1.74)
(2) Todd Frazier v Carlo Gonzalez (7)
He’s the defending champ and is clearly proven in this format. He did get some family help last year with his brother throwing the pitches to him. He’s in a different uniform this year but that shouldn’t change what will be expected from Frazier who has 25 HR’s on the year. Gonzalez has a respectable 18 HR’s but Frazier should easily get the cash here.
Bet: Todd Frazier WIN ($1.74)
Who wins it all? The Wolf likes what he has seen from Stanton in recent weeks as he is starting to get his swing back and most importantly his timing. He will be a bit sour after not being picked to play in the All Star Game and he will have a point to prove in this event. He has Barry Bonds down in Miami as his hitting coach and will be well prepped here. Stanton to beat Myers in the final.
Bet: Stanton WIN ($4.00)