Pete Alonso is the current favorite to claim his third Home Run Derby title, but the New York Mets slugger hasn’t been the most-backed of the eight contestants
That distinction goes to Toronto’s Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who opened at +400 at BetMGM to win Monday night’s competition at T-Mobile Park in Seattle. Those odds have shortened to +350 with Guerrero leading the book with 21.5 percent of the total bets placed on the winner and 25.2 percent of the money.
Guerrero, who lost the 2019 finals in Cleveland to Alonso by one homer, is the No. 6 seed. He will attempt to join his Hall of Fame father, Vladimir Sr., as the first father-son duo to claim Derby titles. Guerrero Jr. will begin that quest in the first round against No. 3 seed Mookie Betts.
Betts has the second-longest odds at +1000 as he makes his Derby debut and tried to become the first winner under 6-feet tall since Yoenis Cespedes. The Dodgers have also never had a player win the annual Home Run Derby.
Alonso, the No. 2 seed, is second at the book with 22.8 percent of the money backing him as the +275 favorite. He faces a difficult opening matchup against Julio Rodriguez, the hometown favorite who reached the finals in his first attempt last year at Dodger Stadium. He did so after beating Alonso 31-23 in the semifinals en route to hit 81 across the competition.
Rodriguez (+600) committed to the Derby before being added to the All-Star Game as an alternate. His Derby odds have lengthened a bit since opening at +550 despite being second at BetMGM with 14.7 percent of the bets and 17.2 percent of the money backing him.
That’s likely due to drawing Alonso, who is the all-time Derby leader with 174 homers.
Interestingly, No. 1 overall seed Luis Robert Jr. has only the third-shortest odds at +450 despite already slugging a career-best 25 home runs. He opened at +400, but those odds lengthened as Robert has received modest support with 9.1 and 5.3 percent of the action, respectively.
His first-round opponent will be young Baltimore superstar Adley Rutschman, who has the Derby odds at +2000. Rutschman is third with 14.5 percent of the total bets supporting him to win in his Derby debut in just his second MLB season. The only switch-hitter to win the Derby was Ruben Sierra, who shared the title with Eric Davis in 1989, and no catcher has ever won the event.
One of the tightest first-round battles could wind up being between Texas’ Adolis Garcia (+600) and Tampa Bay’s Randy Arozarena (+900). Garcia is aiming to become the Rangers’ first Derby champion since Juan Gonzalez 30 years ago, while no Ray has won the title yet — the only two previous contestants being Evan Longoria in 2008 and Carlos Pena one year later.
The fourth-seeded Garcia has received the least amount of support at the book, with the public backing him with only 7.9 percent of the bets, although the 7.5 percent of the money on Garcia is more than that placed on Robert (5.3 percent) or Arozarena (6.4).
American League home run leader Shohei Ohtani (31) of the Los Angeles Angels and National League leader Matt Olson (29) of the Atlanta Braves are not part of the competition.
–Field Level Media