Midsummer Preview: 2021 Home Run Derby

Midsummer Preview: 2021 Home Run Derby

After a one-year hiatus, the Home Run Derby is back to take center stage. But the return of the event on baseball’s calendar this season is bound to be special for other reasons as well.

It’s about the two-way sensation hitting at Coors Field, the defending champion looking to repeat, and an inspiring must-see comeback story.

On Tuesday night, the baseball world welcomes back the Home Run Derby. 

Home Run Derby Info

Date: July 12 2021

Start Time: 8:00 P.M. EST

Location: Denver, CO

Stadium: Coors Field


Betting Odds Sponsored by Jazz Sportsbook

Moneyline odds for each first-round matchup:

1. Shohei Ohtani (-200) vs. 8. Juan Soto (+160)

Ohtani, the league-leader in home runs, has positioned himself to be the marquee name to watch this week in Denver. The Angels’ two-way star has launched 33 long balls thus far, the 11th player ever to hit that many before the All-Star break. His first-round opponent, Soto, will look to become the second Nationals outfielder to win the event in three years. (Bryce Harper, 2018) 

4. Salvador Perez (+170) vs. 5. Pete Alonso (-210)

The last time there was an MLB Home Run Derby, Alonso was victorious. After a slow start to the 2021 campaign, the Mets’ first baseman has found his stroke at the plate as of late. Winning the Home Run Derby back-to-back times has proven to be a rare feat. In fact, it’s only happened twice (Ken Griffey Jr., 1998-1999, and Yoenis Céspedes, 2013-2014). On Monday night, Alonso will look to become the third. But in doing so, he’ll have to first defeat Perez in the first round. The Kansas City Royals backstop can make history in Denver, as a catcher has never won the event. 

2. Joey Gallo (-195) vs. 7. Trevor Story (+155)

As it goes with the Derby, a player representing the host city always seems to be present. Story, the Colorado Rockies shortstop, enters the event tied as the slugger with the lowest home run total (11). The same can’t be said about his counterpart. Gallo has been on a tear at the plate for the Texas Rangers recently, finishing his first half with 24 long balls. The 2021 edition of the Derby will mark the first time Gallo has taken part in the event.

3. Matt Olson (-220) vs. 6. Trey Mancini (+180)

Mancini has been one of the great stories of 2021. After missing the entirety of last year due to a battle with Stage 3 colon cancer, the Orioles slugger is now making his case to be the Comeback Player of the Year. The 29-year old Mancini will look to be the first Baltimore representative to the win Derby since Miguel Tejada in 2004. His first-round opponent however, appears to be on a mission at the plate in 2021. Olson has launched 23 home runs thus far this season for the Oakland Athletics, and observers on Monday should expect the pull-happy hitter to be looking out to right-field for most of the night.

Top Prop Bets via  Jazz Sportsbook 

Least Home Runs in 1st Round: Over/Under: O 12.5 (-140) | U 12.5 (-105)

Most Home Runs in 1st Round: Over/Under: O 24 (-155) | U 24 (+105)

Longest Home Run (FT): Over/Under: O 512.5 (-125) | U 512.5 (-115)

The most intriguing part of this year’s Derby for many is the atmosphere in which it will be played. Coors Field in Denver ranks as the most hitter-friendly park in all of baseball. After all, if there’s ever a place to conduct a slugfest, wouldn’t the Mile High City always be the place to have it?

As a result, setting the O/U for the longest home run at 512.5 feet comes as no surprise. Even when focusing on the least amount of home runs in the first round prop-bet, 12.5 appears to be quite low, even for Coors Field standards. The last time a Home Run Derby hitter launched less than 13 long balls in the first round of the event came in 2018 (Freddie Freeman, Jesus Aguilar).

Prelude to the Midsummer Classic

The 2021 Home Run Derby is another reminder that the baseball world is returning to normal after a shortened 60-game season in 2020. One night later, the All-Star Game will have its turn to officially return onto the MLB’s calendar.

The Rockies have only hosted the All-Star festivities once in their history (1998) prior to this year. The aforementioned Home Run Derby participant Ohtani, will get the start on the mound for the American League, along with being the team’s designated hitter.

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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images

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