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2021 Home Run Derby Preview: Who has the best shot at beating Ohtani?

Shohei Ohtani leads the majors with a staggering 33 homers at the All-Star break but who might have a shot at defeating him in the Home Run Derby?
Credit: AP Images

DENVER — The MLB All-Star break is finally here and it kicks off right away with the Home Run Derby on Monday night from Coors Field in Denver.

This will be the first time since 1998 that Coors Field hosts the Derby and it should be a good one as the stadium is one of, if not the most hitter-friendly ballpark historically thanks to the altitude.

This year’s edition of the Derby is one of the most anticipated in recent years due to Angels’ star Shohei Ohtani’s participation. Ohtani has rocked the baseball world this year with his hitting and pitching abilities this season. The 27-year-old is leading the majors at the break with 33 home runs, and he’ll be in the No. 1 spot on this year’s bracket.

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Home Run Derby Format

There are three rounds in the bracket-style Home Run Derby as two hitters will go against each other to see who can hit more homers in the time allotted. Whoever hits the most will move on to the next round.

Batters get four minutes each to hit as many home runs as they can and they are allowed to take as many swings as they want. There’s no penalty for not hitting a home run and they can take one timeout during the four minutes.

If the two batters tie, a one-minute round ensues where each batter gets one minute to hit as many homers as possible. If they tie again, there will be swing-offs consisting of three swings each until a winner is decided.

Home Run Derby Quarterfinal Matchups

In the betting markets, Ohtani is the favorite to win with +200 odds at BetOnline. 2-seed Joey Gallo is behind him at +350 and defending Derby champion (2019) Pete Alonso has the third lowest odds at +500. Salvador Perez and Trey Mancini have the highest odds at +1200.

Trevor Story, who will be hitting in his own ballpark, has 10 to 1 odds to win. Notably, twice in the past five years, the winner of the Derby has done it in their own ballpark (Bryce Harper 2018, Todd Frazier 2015).

(1) Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels (33 home runs in 2021) vs. (8) Juan Soto, Washington Nationals (11 home runs in 2021)

(2) Joey Gallo, Texas Rangers (24 home runs in 2021) vs. (7) Trevor Story, Colorado Rockies (11 home runs in 2021)

(3) Matt Olson, Oakland Athletics (23 home runs in 2021) vs. (6) Trey Mancini, Baltimore Orioles (16 home runs in 2021)

(4) Salvador Perez, Kansas City Royals (21 home runs in 2021) vs. (5) Pete Alonso, New York Mets (17 home runs in 2021)

The winner of the Ohtani/Soto matchup will face the winner of the Perez/Alonso matchup. The winner of the Gallo/Story matchup goes on to face the winner of the Olson/Mancini matchup.


Past Home Run Derby Champions

2019 - Pete Alonso, New York Mets (Progressive Field, Cleveland)
2018 - Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals (Nationals Park, Washington D.C.)
2017 - Aaron Judge, New York Yankees (Marlins Park, Miami)
2016 - Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins (Petco Park, San Diego)
2015 - Todd Frazier, Cincinnati Reds (Great American Ballpark, Cincinnati)
2014 - Yoenis Cespedes, Oakland Athletics (Target Field, Minneapolis)
2013 - Yoenis Cespedes, Oakland Athletics (Citi Field, New York)
2012 - Prince Fielder, Detroit Tigers (Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City)
2011 - Robinson Cano, New York Yankees (Chase Field, Phoenix)
2010 - David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox (Angel Stadium, Anaheim)

How To Watch The Home Run Derby

The Derby airs on ESPN on Monday night at 8 p.m. ET/6 p.m. local time in Colorado. Live streaming is available at WatchESPN.com.

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