MLB Home Run Derby Sleeper Pick

by Sean Murphy

The MLB Home Run Derby goes tonight at Dodger Stadium and if you follow my articles regularly, you probably know which slugger I'll be backing.

Back in March I recommended a bet on Julio Rodriguez to win the American League Rookie of the Year Award. He's well on his way to earning that trophy thanks to a stellar first half with the Seattle Mariners. Rodriguez heads into the All-Star break hitting .275 with 16 home runs and 52 RBI, not to mention 21 stolen bases. 

Of course, home runs are the name of the game on Monday and I'm confident Rodriguez can put on a good show in Southern California. You should be able to find J-Rod priced around +800 to win the whole derby, however, there are a number of other betting options as well. He's priced north of +800 at most books to hit the longest home run and also matched up against Corey Seager of the Texas Rangers in the opening round. Unfortunately, his matchup price is getting a little out of hand at -170 or worse but I do expect him to outslug the former Dodger. 

There's also the option to bet on 'any American League player' to win the derby (currently priced around +250), which also gives you the aforementioned Seager (who knows this park well as a former Dodger) and Jose Ramirez. I do think Rodriguez has by far the best shot of those three at hoisting the trophy so I much prefer backing him at the significantly higher price. 

Another interesting bet is Ronald Acuna Jr. to outslug two-time champion Pete Alonso in the opening round. You can currently back Acuna at around +170 to take that matchup. Acuna has been somewhat slow to round into form this season due in part to injuries but he's precisely the type of player that thrives in the spotlight, much like Rodriguez, and I believe Alonso has settled into 'overvalued' territory this time around. 

Enjoy the festivities and check back as I plan to have a premium play available for the All-Star Game tomorrow night. 

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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