2023 MLB Home Run Derby Best Bets
Written by Nicholas Berault
July 10, 2023

2023 MLB Home Run Derby Best Bets

Baseball’s annual feat of strength and endurance is back with a formidable group of players ready to swing for the fences. The 2023 MLB Home Run Derby gets going at 8 pm ET tonight in Seattle’s T-Mobile Park, where the weather forecast is cool and humid. It’ll be in the low 70s for the first swing this evening.

The field features two-time champion Pete Alonso of the New York Mets and a couple of former runners-up in Toronto’s Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Seattle’s own Julio Rodriguez. Alonso is the betting favorite, followed by Guerrero, despite neither being the top-seeded player in the event.

First-time participant Luis Robert Jr. is +500 to win tonight’s slugfest as the #1 seed. The White Sox outfielder will face Baltimore Orioles’ catcher Adley Rutschman in the first round.

Robert will look to become the first White Sox hitter to win this title since Frank Thomas in 1995, while Rutschman represents the only player batting lefty among the eight participants and would be the first catcher to win if he does so tonight.

Other first-timers include Texas’ Adolis García, LA Dodger Mookie Betts, and Tampa’s Randy Arozarena. Those three and Rutschman make up the bottom four players on the odds sheet, with the eighth-seeded Orioles catcher being the long shot at +1800.

Player to Make the Final: Adolis García +220

Last year, the top seed in the Derby fell in the first round when Kyle Schwarber lost to Albert Pujols at Dodger Stadium in a swing-off.

García resides on the same half of the bracket as #1 seed Luis Robert Jr. this time and has a first-round matchup with Arozarena standing between him and a semifinal berth.

García trails only Robert in barrel rate among the 2023 contestants, and we foresee a slugfest between the two Cubans in Round 2 that García is more than capable of winning.

Player to Win the Home Run Derby: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. +370

Vladdy brings experience into this event, where he finished runner-up in 2019, and was likely named the 6-seed because of his low home run total (13) at the halfway point of the season.

We can blame Guerrero’s low launch angle for some of that. According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, he has the lowest average launch angle of all the sluggers in this year’s contest. However, that contrasts with an MLB piece highlighting that Guerrero has hit 152 balls at 95 mph or higher, by far the most in the majors in 2023.

The half of the bracket where Guerrero needs to emerge from to play for the title is loaded, but Alonso and Rodríguez will do some of the work for him in their first-round matchup. Guerrero is favored to hit the most home runs and the longest homer in the competition, and we’ll take him to avenge his 2019 loss overall.

Total Swing-Offs: OVER 0.5 +115

This total would have gone over in last year's first matchup when Schwarber and Pujols needed extra time to decide their first-round tie.

Getting plus money on the chance that two players require another session to determine who advances seems like a nice opportunity to profit off exciting matchups for a better return. We anticipate at least one swing-off at T-Mobile Park tonight.

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