Home Run Derby 2023 Picks
The MLB Home Run Derby takes place at T-Mobile Park in Seattle on July 10th at 8 PM ET.
By Tyler Gentile
HR Derby 2023 Odds - Winner
Odds via DraftKings
- Pete Alonso: +310
- Vladimir Guerrero Jr: +370
- Julio Rodriguez: +500
- Luis Robert Jr.: +550
- Adolis Garcia: +700
- Mookie Betts: +1000
- Randy Arozarena: +1100
- Adley Rutschman: +1800
Only three of the contestants this year have experience in the HR Derby. The odds-on-favorite, Pete Alonso, has won the event twice and has made it clear how serious he is about winning this event. Despite his intentions, I’m not so sure he’s even making it out of the first round this year. Strangely enough, he will not have the same BP pitcher throwing to him this year. David Jauss has been replaced by Mike Freidlin, one of Alonso’s coaches from his youth.
Alonso's side of the bracket is significantly more difficult with former derby contestants Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Julio Rodriguez lurking. The home crowd favorite Rodriguez will face Alonso in the first round, and I like his odds to advance at +140.
Rodriguez took part in last year's event and was phenomenal through the first two rounds before fizzling out in the finals against Juan Soto. He led all batters with 81 homers last year and beat Alonso in the second round, 31-24. I’m also going to sprinkle a little on J-Rod to win it all at +500.
Vladdy finished in second place in 2019, but arguably had the most memorable battle against Joc Peterson in the second round that year. It went to a swing-off where he finished with a record 40 bombs. Guerrero is rightfully the second favorite of the bunch and faces Mookie Betts, who has some of the longer odds at 10-to-1.
The opposite side of the bracket has no experience whatsoever, so I’m not exactly sure how they determined the current odds. Regular season totals don't matter too much, as this competition is more about endurance and stamina.
I’m liking Randy Arozarena to advance past Adolis Garcia in the first round at +120. Both of these guys hit the ball incredibly hard, ranking 90th percentile or better in barrel%, max exit velocity, and average exit velocity. Since there is no historical data to reference, give me the guy with the longer odds.
The same can be said for Adley Rutschman to advance past Luis Robert at +180, but I’m steering clear of that matchup. Rutschman has the worst barrel% among all competitors, while Robert has the best. I’m also going to sprinkle a little on Robert to win at +1100. This wager is more of a value play than anything.
My favorite bet of the night is taking the under on the longest home run hit at 490.5 feet. Statcast has been tracking the Derby since 2016 and aside from the nukes hit at Coors Field in 2021, this has rarely gone over 490 feet. Last year, the longest dinger was 482 feet by Juan Soto. There was no contest in 2020. Vladdy hit one 476 feet in 2019 and Javier Baez knocked one out at 479 feet in 2018.
Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton are unicorns and did mash some 500+ feet in 2016 and 2017, but they are obvious outliers. Rutschman has the longest HR this regular season with a 461-foot bomb on Sunday. This won’t be a fun one to root for, but the under looks like the right side to be on here.