The 2023 MLB Home Run Derby takes place at T-Mobile Park in Seattle, WA tonight. Baseball fans galore tune in to catch 8 of the league’s best hitters take the stage and mash baseballs to take home the crown.
Personally, I’m not a big fan of it. Sure as a kid I loved watching the derby and seeing some of my favorite players hit absolute bombs. Every kid dreams of being one of those lucky outfielders catching the stray fly balls.
As I’ve gotten older, my mentality shifts. The derby now provides an opportunity to mess up these players’ swings. It’s almost the same as other players turning down an invitation to the WBC. Why take the chance at messing up your training or tweaking something and risk having it affect your play later in October?
That’s just me, I can be a grouch sometimes. All this said, I’m still going to watch it and have some skin in the game. Here are my top 3 picks.
🏟️ DING-DONG DERBY 🏟️
— Crier Media (@thecriermedia) July 10, 2023
1. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. vs. Mookie Betts – Mooke Betts To Win Round 1 (+180)
I’m surprised Vladdy (13) is favored in this matchup as he has half the amount of dingers as Mookie (26) does. Vladdy brings the derby name and veteran prowess but don’t let Mookie’s 5-foot-9 / 180 lb stature trick you into taking the favorite on this one. Betts hits the ball just as hard as anyone in the league with an exit velocity that tops out at 110 MPH.
Mookie is also grossly underpriced to win the whole thing. I’ll be taking some safer value, as you’ll read later but hedging Betts (get it) at +1800 might not be the worst idea. Again, physical size is what has him naked lower than most sluggers.
Also, being a Blue Jay fan, I don’t want to see him in this competition messing up his swing. So a first round exit for Plakata would not make me upset at all.
2. Over 275.5 Home Runs Total (-110)
This one seemed easy to me as the last 3 seasons have been over this total usually hitting around 300 or more dingers. With familiar faces returning to the derby this year I see this number going over. The weather in Seattle on the other hand isn’t gorgeous by any means. 20 degrees and cloudy though should be fine, so prepare to see some baseballs fly.
Most books have this at -110 odds and I found that on theScore Bet
3. Pete Alonso Home Run Derby Winner (+300)
I’ll be honest, I didn’t put much thought into this one. He’s favored and has the most home runs in the derby. A total of 174 in only 3 derbies is incredible with an average of 58 an outing, you might as well take him. Not only that, he’s won the last 2 of 3. Give him one more this yera and let someone else have their shot at it next year.
Or don’t. Keep doing your thing ‘Polar Bear.’
Touring stand-up comic with Yuk Yuk’s. Host of the ‘Down By Two’ Podcast and ‘DB2 Bets.’ Take him on the over.