The two-year bracket format for the MLB Home Run Derby might lend itself to an improbable champion, if Todd Frazier’s triumph in 2015 is any indication.
The Miami Marlins’ Giancarlo Stanton and the Baltimore Orioles’ Mark Trumbo top the Home Run Derby odds board at +300 and +375, respectively, at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com for Monday’s showdown at PETCO Park in San Diego.
It’s easy to see why. Players get an additional minute on top of their allotted five minutes if they hit two home runs that travel farther than 420 feet. Ten of Stanton’s 20 homers this season have traveled farther than 420 feet, and Trumbo also has 10 that have met that threshold. The two sluggers could potentially meet in the semifinal.
Wil Myers, of the hometown San Diego Padres, is listed at +550. The aforementioned Frazier is at +600, along with the Cincinnati Reds’ Adam Duvall, with the Seattle Mariners’ Robinson Cano (+1000), Colorado Rockies’ Carlos Gonzalez (+800) and Los Angeles Dodgers’ Corey Seager (+900) trailing on that baseball betting prop.
The timing rules make the Derby an endurance contest. And, of course, PETCO Park is MLB’s third most extreme pitcher-friendly stadium (according to parkfactors.com) thanks to its distant power alleys and the heavy sea air. However, an average of 2.24 HR/game have been hit there this season, in line with the National League’s 2.20 average.
As the MLB home run leader and top seed, Trumbo is the -175 favorite in his quarter-final against Seager, who is listed at +145. For whatever it is worth, Trumbo has only one home run in 12 career games at PETCO, but Seager has yet to homer in 49 career times at bat in San Diego.
Stanton has a -175 line to defeat Cano, who is listed at +135, in their matchup. Stanton’s average true distance of 421.8 feet on his homers is the longest of any player with at least 15 homers this season. Cano could have an edge in stamina, which helped win the Home Run Derby in 2011.
Myers, owing to the home-park factor, is listed at -150 against Duvall at +110. Myers has actually been beastlier at PETCO, with a 1.036 home OPS vs. .706 on the road. Duvall, a first-time all-star, will have to adapt from his hitter-friendly confines in Cincinnati.
The second-seeded Frazier is a mild -140 favorite against even-money Gonzalez. Back-to-back champions are rare; Yoenis Cespedes did it in 2013-14, but he was the first since Ken Griffey Jr. in 1998-99. Gonzalez averages 420.9 feet on his homers, second among players with at least 15. However, he has only six home runs in 192 career at-bats at PETCO Park.
The players are seeded based on their home run totals through July 6.