2018 MLB Home Run Derby
MLB: 07.30 PM EST
July 16, 2018
With the MLB All-Star Break upon us, the festivities will kick off in Washington with the annual Home Run Derby on Monday night. The new format of the Derby is presented in bracket style, with four individual first-round matchups by seeding. The matchups are:
(1) Milwaukee 1B Jesus Aguilar vs. (8) Philadelphia 1B Rhys Hoskins
(2) Washington RF Bryce Harper vs. (7) Atlanta 1B Freddie Freeman
(3) Los Angeles IF Max Muncy vs. (6) Chicago 2B Javier Baez
(4) Houston 3B Alex Bregman vs. (5) Chicago LF Kyle Schwarber
Each batter is given four minutes of time to hit as many home runs as possible, with an additional 30 seconds added for each home run that travels over 440 feet. After the time elapses, the player with the most home runs in each individual matchup will advance.
With just 14 home runs on the year, Rhys Hoskins has the lowest total of any entrant in the 2018 Derby thus far in the season. He’ll be tasked with the National League home run leader in the first round, slugging Brewers keystone man Jesus Aguilar. Hoskins definitely has a lot of power, but may find himself behind the 8-ball early when trying to advance against the top seed in the tournament. Javier Baez, meanwhile, seemingly has a swing built for such a competition; he never takes any pitches off, and swings as hard as he can with consistency. He might be well-conditioned enough to make a run deep in the tournament, and has the pop to gain some bonus time from long home runs.
To that end, I’m taking a prop bet tonight on HR totals in the first round only. Baez in my estimation is underseeded for tonight’s Derby, and I think he’s getting good value to outslug the 8 seed in the opening salvo.
Our Free MLB Pick: Javier Baez more 1st-round HR than Rhys Hoskins (@1.70)