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Home Run Derby 2018 Start Time: TV Schedule, Bracket and More

Richard Janvrin@@RichardJanvrinFeatured ColumnistJuly 15, 2018

Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Max Muncy looks on before a baseball game against the San Diego Padres Thursday, July 12, 2018, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Gregory Bull/Associated Press

On Monday, July 16, the 34th annual Home Run Derby will take place live from Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. at 8 p.m. ET. ESPN will televise the event, but if you're not able to make it to a television screen in time, you can always watch it from the WatchESPN app.

The event is estimated to go until around 10 p.m. ET.

Since 2015, the eight-man bracket format has been in effect. Each player will have four minutes to hit.

The number of home runs on the season determined the seeds, and the number of home runs since June 15 determined tiebreakers, as per the collective bargaining agreement, according to Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com.

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This format has proved to be much more successful and pleasing to watch since it's implementation.

Historically, baseball has never been a timed sport, so adding that caveat to the Derby not only makes it that much more exciting but, let's face it, also gets it over with much quicker.

The "10-out" format was OK, but the event went on for way too long, and the television viewer was more likely to lose interest.

With that said, one of my fondest memories of the Derby came in 2005 when Bobby Abreu hit a total of 41.

That was madness.

This year, we have quite the cast of players set to take the field.

First, we have the Nationals' own Bryce Harper, who is the only one who has previously participated in a Home Run Derby.

While he may have 23 home runs on the season, he's having a horrendous season batting average-wise, hitting .214 in 323 at bats.

Maybe a successful Derby performance will help get him going?

Perhaps one of the more surprising entrants is Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Max Muncy, who, at 27-years-old, had just 215 career major league at-bats across two seasons with the Oakland Athletics. Muncy earned his way into the competition by hitting 20 home runs through 183 at-bats, which was the fastest a player has reached 20 home runs in Dodgers history, according to Elias Sports Bureau (h/t ESPN.com).

Unfortunately, we won't see the defending champion, Aaron Judge, though. Adding him to this would have made it even much more must-see.

Looking at the bracket, the most intriguing first-round matchup for me is actually No. 1 seed Jesus Aguilar against No. 8 seed Rhys Hoskins.

While he may be the eighth seed, Hoskins dealt with a fractured jaw earlier this season and still possesses a ridiculous amount of power. He's an eighth seed you do not want to sleep on.

Currently, Chicago Cubs outfielder/catcher Kyle Schwarber is the favorite to win the event at +300 (bet $100, win $300), according to OddsShark.

That's an extremely interesting favorite. It has nothing to do with Schwarber as a hitter, as he is likely the most powerful guy in the competition, but he has some tough competition in his path.

Should he get past Houston Astros third basemen Alex Bregman, he'll have to face the winner of the Aguilar and Hoskins matchup.

That's a tall task in and of itself, and he's still considered the favorite.

I'd place my bet on Muncy to win this. I think he'll get by Cubs infielder Javier Baez with relative ease, and then he'll face Harper or Atlanta Braves first basemen Freddie Freeman. While that is a tough matchup, I'll take my chances given his first-round matchup.

Muncy at +650 (bet $100, win $650) is my choice.

Who do you think takes home this year's Home Run Derby title?

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