Batting average doesn’t matter at all when the only goal is to hit bombs. Washington Nationals slugger Bryce Harper might be struggling this season, but he’s still the favorite to win the 2018 T-Mobile Home Run Derby.
That’s not us saying it, that comes from the oddsmakers. Bovada gives Harper 11/4 odds to take home the crown during Monday’s event. He’s followed up by a guy who wasn’t an All-Star until the Final Vote concluded.
What are the 2018 Home Run Derby odds?
Here’s a full list of odds for every player in the 2018 Home Run Derby courtesy of Bovada:
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Harper leads the way. He’s followed by Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Jesús Aguilar and Los Angeles Dodgers utility player Max Muncy. Freddie Freeman and Rhys Hoskins are stuck in the middle. Javier Báez, Alex Bregman and Kyle Schwarber bring up the rear.
Bryce Harper has an advantage in the 2018 Home Run Derby
While Aguilar has hit more home runs, Harper has a few advantages that make him the favorite. He’s the only member of the field to have participated in a home run before. Harper did the event in 2013, when he finished as the runner-up to Yoenis Cespedes.
Harper will also have the benefit of home-field advantage. The Home Run Derby will take place at Nationals Park. He should be comfortable hitting there.
If there’s hope for the other contestants, it’s that Harper has never participated with the new bracket format. He could still carry over some of his past experience, but some aspects of this will be new to him as well.
Do Javier Báez, Alex Bregman and Kyle Schwarber have a chance to win the Home Run Derby?
Báez, Bregman and Schwarber aren’t getting as much love from the oddsmakers, but you shouldn’t count them out. Báez was known for his immense power in the minors and that has really carried over in 2018. Schwarber has always been known as a major power threat. Early scouting reports said Bregman had “average power,” but he’s proven those wrong this season by already mashing 19 home runs.
More importantly, though, the Home Run Derby isn’t all that predictable. There are many factors that can contribute to a player winning the whole thing. Harper and Aguilar might be the favorites, but it feels like anyone’s race.
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