On Monday, Miami will host the 2017 Home Run Derby. There is a different feel to this derby than in the past. We have the reigning champion and the home run hitting monster Giancarlo Stanton defending his 2016 crown. The funny thing is, many people are more intrigued at his competition than just Stanton this time around.
Some of Stanton’s (24 HR) competition in the Home Run Derby are rookie phenoms Aaron Judge (30 HR) and Cody Bellinger (25 HR), the pair having combined for 55 home runs by the day before the All-Star break. After that the young and under-looked Miguel Sano (21 HR), who has less home runs than Judge or Bellinger, but absolutely crushes them when the ball leaves the yard. After this you have some less intriguing, but still incredibly powerful hitters with Mike Moustakas (25 HR), Justin Bour (20 HR), Charlie Blackmon (19 HR), and Gary Sanchez (13 HR).
According to Bovada’s odds, courtesy of CBS Sports, this is a two-man competition with the other six to be merely cannon fodder:
2017 Home Run Derby – Odds to Win
Giancarlo Stanton 7/5
Aaron Judge 7/4
Cody Bellinger 6/1
Miguel Sano 12/1
Charlie Blackmon 14/1
Mike Moustakas 14/1
Justin Bour 14/1
Gary Sanchez 16/1
Between Stanton and Judge, the odds makers don’t even seem to really think anyone else has much of a chance at all in the Home Run Derby. A bet of $10 on Stanton wins you $4 on top of your original investment. If you bet that same $10 on Judge, that brings you back $7.50 on top of your original investment. The next closest in the group is Bellinger, where a $10 bet wins you $60 on top of your original investment.
It is very clear that people are very much looking forward to a Stanton/Judge Home Run Derby finals matchup.
1. Giancarlo Stanton
8. Gary Sanchez
4. Mike Moustakas
5. Miguel Sano
2. Aaron Judge
7. Justin Bour
3. Cody Bellinger
6. Charlie Blackmon
The winner of Stanton/Sanchez will go on to face the winner of Moustakas/Sano, with the winner of Judge/Bour going to face the winner of Bellinger/Blackmon.
This gives us some intriguing possibilities.
Possible Semifinals Match-ups
Stanton vs Sano – These guys are two of the most powerful men in baseball. When they hit home runs, those balls soar. We could really see some majestic home runs from the pair.
Judge vs Bellinger – Here are two guys not necessarily expected to be anywhere near the All-Star festivities this season. Judge wasn’t a top prospect for most publications. Bellinger was a top 50 prospect entering the season, but was not expected to become a starter with the Dodgers anytime soon. Both young sluggers have been excellent this season, and would put on a heck of a show.
Possible Finals Match-ups
Stanton vs Bellinger
Sano vs Judge
Sano vs Bellinger
Not to take away anything from Gary Sanchez, Mike Moustakas, Justin Bour, or Charlie Blackmon, but there really are just four of the eight players involved who would be the most fun to watch smash balls into the stands in Miami.
For Stanton vs Bellinger and Sano vs Bellinger you would get a righty/lefty matchup. This would be fun to see the difference in where the home runs land, and if either player decides to go more than just pull-happy.
Sano vs Judge would be a very nice consolation prize to the main attraction. Both are very big men, with Sano standing 6-4 and 260, and Judge standing a gigantic 6-7 275. These guys would be just muscling the balls over the fence, delighting the fans all the way.
The Main Attraction
No matter how great the above possible final match-ups would be, the one that people are clamoring for in the 2017 Home Run Derby is Giancarlo Stanton defending his 2016 trophy against Aaron Judge.
At the moment, these two guys are the behemoths in the MLB. Overall, no one really seems to hit the ball harder or further than these two.
Stanton also had the two longest hit home run balls of 2015, both at 484 feet.
The thought of these two going head to head for all of the marbles is tantalizing. These are the types of match-ups that people want to see. If the head honchos at the MLB are lucky, this is exactly the result we will get.
Not just that, but if the fans and writers are lucky, this is the finals that we will get. This is exactly what the All-Star week is about, seeing the very best compete against each other and seeing who comes out on top.
The match-up of Giancarlo Stanton vs Aaron Judge is why the Home Run Derby was created.
Stanton defeats Sanchez
Sano defeats Moustakas
Judge defeats Bour
Bellinger defeats Blackmon
Sano Defeats Stanton
Bellinger defeats Judge
Sano defeats Bellinger to win the 2017 Home Run Derby