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Best Picks For The Home Run Derby
Chicks Dig the Long Ball
The Mid-Summer Classic is quickly approaching, and along with it comes the most electric All-Star event in all of sports, the Home Run Derby. The 2023 derby is headlined by a rematch between Valdimir Guerrero Jr. and Pete Alonso, who famously duked it out in the 2019 event. The oddsmakers in Vegas have placed Alonso as the favorite heading into the event at +320, but recent history tells us that Alonso winning a third title is unlikely.
The key to the Home Run Derby in recent years has been simple: youth. The winner of the past six derbies has been 26 years of age or younger. This trend can already rule out half of the contestants, Pete Alonso, Adolis Garcia, Randy Arozarena, and Mookie Betts, as all of these players are over 26 years of age. Additionally, of the four players remaining, only one of them has hit over 20 HRs so far this season.
The Pick: Luis Robert
While the White Sox are having another disappointing season, The young OF has been a bright spot for the club. Luis is hitting .276 to go along with 25 HRs. This is the first time Robert will compete in the event and he enters as the 1st seed facing Orioles catcher Adley Rutschman in the first round. Luis has been one of the best HR hitters in all of baseball and his power should translate well to the derby.
Bonus Pick: Julio Rodriguez
Similar to Robert, Julio Rodriguez is a young star outfielder on a struggling team who has an affinity for the long ball. Despite Rodriguez having a significantly worse season than he did last year, the Seattle slugger has the advantage of experience. In his rookie season last year, Rodriguez participated in the event and led the field with 81 total Home Runs before losing in the finals to Juan Soto. Even though Rodriguez has struggled with the long ball this season (13 HRs so far), we know from experience that the young star can turn it on when the lights are brightest. Julio will also have a home crowd advantage as this year’s All-Star Game will take place in Seattle.