Major League Baseball saw its annual All-Star Week kick off over the weekend with a variety of entertaining events. Highlights included a red-carpet parade, the MLB All-Star Futures Game and the MLB Legends and Celebrity Softball Game.
When it comes to entertainment, though, the big event is set for Monday night. We’re talking about the Home Run Derby—baseball’s equivalent of a Kiss concert. For many baseball fans, the Home Run Derby is even more exciting than the All-Star Game itself.
Even non-purists can enjoy watching top-tier hitters going yard for an entire evening.
If you’re looking to get in on the festivities, you’re in luck. We’re here with everything you need to know about the 2017 Home Run Derby—including scheduling information and the latest odds from OddsShark.com.
2017 MLB Home Run Derby
When: Monday, July 10
Time: 8 p.m. ET
Where: Marlins Park, Miami
National TV: ESPN
Live Stream: WatchESPN
Giancarlo Stanton: 2-1
Aaron Judge: 2-1
Cody Bellinger: 13-2
Miguel Sano: 7-1
Gary Sanchez: 12-1
Mike Moustakas: 14-1
Justin Bour: 14-1
Charlie Blackmon: 14-1
While the Derby has always been a spectacle purely for fan entertainment, Major League Baseball tweaked the event a couple of years ago to up the entertainment value. Now the Derby has even more of a video game feel than it has in the past.
The Home Run Derby is set up as an eight-man bracket, with hitters seeded according to their in-season home run totals. The exception is Giancarlo Stanton, who earned the top seed by winning last year’s competition. The participants face off head-to-head tournament style until only one hitter remains.
In each round, each player will receive four minutes in which to hit as many home runs as possible. During the final minute of each player’s round, the clock stops when a player hits a home run and does not restart until a swing doesn’t result in a home run. Hitters can earn 30 seconds of bonus time by hitting two home runs of at least 440 feet.
Each player has one 45-second timeout in the first and second round. In the finals, each player gets a 45-second and 30-second timeout. If there is a tie, hitters will compete in a one-minute swing-off. If a tie remains after that, there will be pitch-by-pitch sudden death.
Derby Bracket, Round 1 (seed)
(1) Giancarlo Stanton vs. (8) Gary Sanchez
(2) Aaron Judge vs. (7) Justin Bour
(3) Mike Moustakas vs. (6) Miguel Sano
(4) Cody Bellinger vs. (Charlie Blackmon
Stanton Trying to Defend Crown for Home Crowd
In addition to having the No. 1 seed—which isn’t exactly an advantage since Gary Sanchez’s 15 home runs came in just 55 games, he’s a legitimate threat—Stanton will also have home-field advantage in the Derby.
Unlike last year, Stanton will also participate in the All-Star Game, also in front of a friendly Miami crowd.
Missing out on All-Star honors didn’t dampen Stanton’s spirits last year, when he blasted 61 home runs during the derby. He put on a dominant performance and even managed to impress some of his fellow competitors.
“I felt like I was a high school hitter compared to him,” 2015 champion Todd Frazier said, per George Richards of the Miami Herald. “The way he was hitting them that far.”
It’s worth noting that Stanton would still be a high seed in the bracket even without holding the 2016 crown. He’s currently tied for third in Major League Baseball with 26 home runs.
With a home crowd cheering him on, Stanton might dig up even more power than he showed in last year’s Derby.
Judge Chasing Greatness
New York Yankees rookie Aaron Judge has been a revelation this season. He currently leads Major League Baseball with 30 home runs, and he could add to his impressive rookie resume with a win in the Home Run Derby on Monday night.
Judge, along with Stanton, is a favorite to bring home the trophy.
There’s every reason to believe Judge has the goods to win, too. His 30th home run of the season broke a Yankees rookie record that had stood for 81 years. That record was previously set by one Joe DiMaggio back in 1936.
According to MLB.com, Judge doesn’t just lead the league in home runs—he also leads in exit velocity (97.2 MPH) and average hit distance (241.0 feet). This means the 6’7″ Judge is a true power hitter.
Judge should naturally thrive in a home-run competition.
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