With eight of the game's best sluggers gearing up to launch balls into the skies of New York for the Home Run Derby, I figured I'd take a stab at ranking the three sluggers who have the best shot at a title.
To my amazement, I found there are actually odds posted on the contestants. At first, I wondered what kind of degenerate it would take to gamble on this event. Then I quickly realized it would take a degenerate like me.
Placing a small wager on which hitter can jack the most balls into the seats sounds like the best way to enjoy this All-Star weekend contest to me.
So, check out the list of participants and then I'll offer up my ranking.
List of Participants and Odds to Win
Odds according to Bovada on July 12.
Prince Fielder, Tigers, 7-2
Chris Davis, Orioles, 15-4
Robinson Cano, Yankees, 11-2
Yoenis Cespedes, Athletics, 11-2
Bryce Harper, Nationals, 5-1
David Wright, Mets, 15-2
Pedro Alvarez, Pirates, 15-2
Michael Cuddyer, Rockies, 9-1
No. 3: Yoenis Cespedes
Cespedes is just the fourth player in derby history to participate in the derby but not be on the All-Star team. He has the power numbers to make it (15 home runs, 42 RBI), but he's hitting just .219.
Cespedes has a lot of work to do to refine his contact skills, but he is not lacking for natural power. He shouldn't have much of a problem squaring up pitches in this competition.
The ball flies off of Cespedes' bat. His average true distance on home runs this year is 407.9'.
The dude can rake, and given that he is not playing in the All-Star game, all of his focus will be on this competition. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see him pull out the win. However, I have a hunch he will wear himself out early.
No. 2: Chris Davis
Chris Davis has power to all fields. However, he likes going back up the middle. This is not perfect for Citi Field, but as you can see on the ESPN Home Run Tracker with the Citi Field overlay, he has enough power that it shouldn't be a problem.
Davis has a slight upswing that has led to him hitting a major league-leading 35 home runs this season, and it will be perfect for this competition. He should also be anxious to make an impression.
While Davis has now hit 68 home runs since the start of the 2012 season, not a lot of fans have gotten a real taste for his power. Sure, most fans have marveled at his numbers this year, but if he could jack 15 home runs in the first round of this competition, it would only increase the spotlight on the remainder of his season.
I expect Davis to put on a show.
No. 1: Prince Fielder
Prince Fielder? Cecil should have named his son King Home Run Derby. When Fielder digs in and rips away, it is a sight to behold.
He's already won this event twice, which makes him just one of two to pull that off. With a third win, he would tie Ken Griffey Jr. as the all-time leader.
Not only does Fielder have a natural swing for distance, but he is able to take one monster hack after another without showing signs of fatigue.
I would be surprised if Fielder didn't at least make the finals.
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