For some it’s one of the most exciting contests of the All-Star experience, for others it’s just plain boring. Some of the league’s best sluggers are set to face off in the 2010 MLB Homerun Derby Monday.
With Robinson Cano withdrawing from the derby, and Nick Swisher replacing him we have 8 participants this year. Swisher, Miguel Cabrera (Detroit Tigers), David Ortiz (Boston Red Sox), and Vernon Wells (Toronto Blue Jays) form the AL team. Corey Hart (Milwaukee Brewers), Matt Holliday (St. Louis Cardinals), Hanley Ramirez (Florida Marlins), and Chris Young (Arizona Diamondbacks) will swing their bats for the National League.
Each player will get ten outs and try to hit as many homeruns as possible. Any swing that doesn’t result in a homerun is considered an out. When a player reaches nine outs, he will swing at the golden moneyballs. Every homerun hit with a moneyball equals $17,000 for Boys and Girls Club of America.
Brewers’ slugger Prince Fielder won last year’s derby, and his teammate Corey Hart will try to land another title for Milwaukee. Fielder got the title with a total of 23 homeruns, 11 in the first round and six each in the second round and the finals.
It seems like pacing yourself early is the way to succeed in the Homerun Derby. Josh Hamilton blasted 28 big shots in the first round two years ago, but ran out of gas in the final round, finishing second with only three homeruns.
David Wright had a similar problem in 2006. He sent 16 balls out of PNC Park in Pittsburgh in the first round, but that was about it. He did make it to the finals on his strong first round score, but got a combined six homers in the semis and the finals.
Miguel Cabrera is currently tied for fifth place in the MLB with 21 homeruns. He has also shown that he can connect frequently with a .346 batting average, second in the majors to only Josh Hamilton (.349). Cabrera finished third in 2009.
David Ortiz has 17 homers for the year. He finished fourth in the 2005 as well as 2006 derby, but ran out of gas early both times. It seems like he is able to put up a high first round total that can carry him to the second round, but he doesn’t have the stamina to go all the way.
Vernon Wells participates in his first homerun derby. He is 10th in the majors with 19 big shots.
Corey Hart has 20 homeruns in 2010, one more than teammate and 2009 champion Prince Fielder. The latter decided not to defend his title, and Hart will be looking to win another derby for the Brewers. He participates in the Homerun Derby for the first time.
Matt Holliday is making is second appearance in the Homerun Derby. He finished third in 2007. In a derby that saw very few total blasts, Holliday hit five bombs in the first round and eight in the second, not enough for a spot in the finals.
Hanley Ramirez participates in his first derby. He has the fewest homeruns out of all the contestants (13), but he has lit it up recently. He hit six big shots in May and four in June. He has one dinger in July so far.
Arizona’s Chris Young has 15 homeruns in 2010 and is making his first appearance at the Homerun Derby. He had a tendency of popping up balls during his first three years in the league, but his 2010 numbers seem to indicate that he has worked on that. He seems like a good pick in the derby, since he still has a slight tendency to lift balls.
There might still be some last minute changes to the lineup and at the time of publish, baseball odds for the derby haven’t been released, but keep checking our preferred sportsbooks and expect them to be up soon.
When betting on the derby, make sure to take into account what the contestants’ swings look like and if they have to alter them for the derby. Also look at the stamina aspect and make sure you don’t pick someone who could run out of gas early.