The 2019 Major League Baseball Home Run Derby will take place Monday night at Progressive Field. We once again have a bracket style elimination where each player has four minutes to hit as many bombs to advance, and there’s a chance for additional time by hitting multiple homers of at least 440 feet. Here’s a quick breakdown of each hitter participating and the best betting options for the event.
Josh Bell, +300 - Josh Bell already has five home runs in the month of July, and he has some of the longest shots of the year with three of them being hit at least 460 feet. In terms of distance and pure power, it doesn’t get much better than Bell, which is why he’s favored to win this event.
Christian Yelich, +350 - Christian Yelich heads into Sunday with the most homers in baseball (31), and he’s the first NL player with 30-plus bombs before the All-Star break since Albert Pujols a decade ago. Yelich has an average exit velocity of 95.1 miles per hour, which is fifth in baseball.
Pete Alonso, +500 - Pete Alonso already holds the Mets rookie record for most homers in the season, as he entered Sunday with 29 under his belt. Alonso has some of the hardest hit balls of the year, which includes an exit velocity of 118.3 miles per hour off of Jonny Venters in April. Alonso hits the ball hard and deep, and he has a shot to become the second Mets player to win this event.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr., +500 - Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has a single of 118.9 miles per hour off of Ivan Nova back in May, which is the second-hardest hit ball of the season. Guerrero may not have the home run numbers of other players in this field, but the pop is there given some of his exit velocity numbers and the videos of what he’s done in batting practice. Don’t sleep.
Joc Pederson, +800 - Joc Pederson has hit 20-plus homers in four of the last five years and has the experience of participating in the 2015 home run derby. In fact, Pedersen probably wins that event in Cincinnati if crowd favorite Todd Frazier didn’t bend the rules of hitting pitches before the previous ball had landed. Pederson has another chance to become the first Dodger player to win this event.
Ronald Acuna Jr., +800 - Ronald Acuna Jr. has 46 homers through a season and a half, and he’s shown to have power in all areas. Acuna routinely hits opposite field home runs, and two of his 20 bombs on the season have surpassed 460 feet. Acuna’s ability to consistently leave the park left, right and center gives him an advantage over the rest of the field.
Carlos Santana, +900 - Carlos Santana doesn’t have the sexy exit velocity numbers or eye-popping distances of the other hitters, but he does have 100 homers in his last 558 games. Santana has hit 97 home runs at Progressive Field and has a .447 slugging percentage at his park. We’ve also seen recently how home crowds can impact hitters, giving them that extra boost to finish rounds strong.
Alex Bregman, +1000 - Alex Bregman is another hitter who doesn’t have any cuts that jump off the page, but he hit 15 homers in last years home run derby and has a short compact swing that usually does well in this event. Bregman should be able to use his experience from last year and get off to a faster start in a hitters friendly park.
My Picks: I’m going with Josh Bell and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. as my picks to win this event. Bell has the rawest pure home run power in this field and comes into this week red hot in terms of homers hit. Guerrero has a tough opening round against Christian Yelich, but if you’ve seen what this kid does in batting practice, you’re well aware of his potential and know he’s capable of putting on a show and making a legit run. These two also have the potential to meet in the final, giving us a chance to cash either way like we did last year with Kyle Schwarber and Bryce Harper.