2011 MLB Home Run Derby Odds: Should Jose Bautista Be the Favorite to Win?
Setting aside the fact that eight participants may be just a few too many for the MLB Home Run Derby, this year's field of contestants has something of a dichotomous split between those with experience and those without.
The captains for the teams, Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz for the American League and Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder for the National League, have each won the Derby within the past two years. St Louis Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday will be partaking in the festivities for the third time in his career, finishing third in 2007 and fifth in 2010, and is known around the Major Leagues to hit spectacular shots in batting practice.
Adrian Gonzalez rounds out the top four batsmen with prior experience, though his came back in 2009 when he hit only two balls out of the yard.
Given the fact that these four have such extensive experience amongst them while the other four—New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Jose Bautista, Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp and Milwaukee Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks—have nary a single appearance in the derby between them, it would stand to reason that the best odds to win would be with one of the former four than the latter, right?
Well, Las Vegas seems to think otherwise. Bodog Sportsbook has Bautista as the favorite with 3/1 odds, followed by Fielder (15/4), Big Papi (9/2), Holliday (9/2), Gonzalez (11/2), Kemp (15/2), Cano (15/2) and Weeks (12/1).
Bautista certainly isn't a bad bet to come out on top here. After all, Bautista has the most four-baggers of any Major Leaguer dating back to September of 2009 with a whopping 95 dingers in that span. What's more, "Joey Bats" has shown remarkable patience at the plate for a power hitter, drawing 74 walks while striking out only 54 times so far this season.
However, the Home Run Derby is an entirely different animal than the MLB season, and it's likely that it will take Bautista some time to adjust his approach to swinging for the fences time and time again.
Though, if his seven home runs in the Blue Jays' last 10 games are any indication, he should be able to "adjust" without much difficulty.
Still, the smart money here is on Holliday, Ortiz or Fielder, as these three veterans of the Derby know full well how to pace themselves through what is a surprisingly grueling competition.
Most recent updates:
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?