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2021 MLB HR Derby Odds and Best Bet

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Arguably the highlight of the MLB All-Star break, eight sluggers will grab their boom sticks and do battle for the 2021 Major League Baseball Home Run Derby. After being robbed of the derby in 2020 due to the shortened season, Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani leads all hitters as the favorite for Home Run Derby odds.

Ohtani sits at +250 odds to win the 2021 Home Run Derby (28.6% implied probability) at places like BetMGM Sportsbook and continues building on his legendary feats. The fourth-year Japanese star leads the majors with 33 dingers at the All-Star break and has been a daily highlight reel with his deep bombs from the plate and then striking out batters from the mound. Ohtani faces Juan Soto in the opening round, who is +850 in odds to win the Home Run Derby.

After Ohtani on the HR Derby oddsboard is Joey Gallo at +425, who is really only known for jacking home runs. The Rangers slugger has 24 home runs this season and has two 40+ home run campaigns in his career from back in the 2017 and 2018 seasons. Gallo faces hometown favorite Trevor Story (+850) with the Colorado Rockies in the opening round.

The reigning HR Derby champ is Pete Alonso with the New York Mets, but the 1B is third on the list for HR Derby odds at +550. Alonso hasn’t been crushing balls in 2021 like he did in 2019, when he broke the record for home runs in a season by a rookie, but has 17 this season and leads the Mets in slugging percentage and OPS.

Here are the full odds for the 2021 MLB Home Run Derby below and I’ll break down why Ohtani is the fave and if you should consider other betting options:

2021 MLB Home Run Derby Odds (BetMGM)

Shohei Ohtani (LAA) +250
Joey Gallo (TEX) +425
Pete Alonso (NYM) +550
Matt Olson (OAK) +650
Juan Soto (WAS) +850
Trevor Story (COL) +850
Salvador Perez (KAN) +900
Trey Mancini (BAL) +1,200

Why is Shohei Ohtani the favorite for 2021 MLB HR Derby Odds?

The exploits of Los Angeles Angels outfielder Shohei Ohtani seem to not be getting enough publicity because the fourth-year stud is doing stuff on the field we haven’t seen since the early 1900s. Hitting 33 home runs at the all-star break is a fantastic achievement but we’ve seen this before. It’s not a shock to watch a hitter have a great first half. What is a shock is when that same outfielder goes to the mound, hits 100MPH on the gun and has a respectable ERA as a starting pitcher.

These feats alone make Ohtani an odds-on favorite for American League MVP and may have some MLB fans wondering, “Mike Trout, who?” Jokes aside, Ohtani has shown not only the ability to tag big-league pitchers for bombs but also how effortless he makes it look. The left-handed batter had 13 homers in June (25 games) and already has five in July (nine games). Ohtani also ranks near the top of the majors for exit velocity on home runs hit and distance travelled, although the latter likely won’t matter as much at Coors Field where the elevation of the state of Colorado already gives that added boost.

At +250, Ohtani should be the betting favorite to win this event based on his stats and performance of 2021. However, with the derby bracket structure and time between sessions in the batter box, it’s difficult endorsing betting a favorite for MLB HR Derby odds when there are so many other participants that have nearly the same chance to win.

My best bet to win The 2021 MLB Home Run Derby

Pete Alonso at +550

Maybe I’m just a Pete Alonso stan, or I’m one of the few who doesn’t forget recent history as easily, but the Mets slugger is the best power hitter in the 2021 HR Derby. The 1B from Queens has 17 home runs this year and leads the Mets in slugging percentage and OPS.

Although he hasn’t been socking dingers as frequently lately like his competition counterparts, it wasn’t that long ago that Alonso hit 53 home runs during the 2019 season. The COVID-19-shortened season in 2020 took away some of his spotlight and a slow start in 2021 may have made bettors cool off on the idea of backing the former Florida Gator. However, I’m here to tell you that in this type of competition, he has a decent projected path to victory.

Alonso will face Royals catcher Salvador Perez in the opening round and should be able to outpace the KC backstop in home runs. He is currently favored at BetMGM to win this matchup. The trick is getting past Shohei Ohtani in the semifinals, and I think this happens because Ohtani is going to gas himself out in the opening round. Ohtani has to face Juan Soto in the opener, which is going to be a closer matchup than bettors realize. I expect it to be a tight win for Ohtani but because of Soto’s pressure, the two-way star could likely max out in the first round, which lends itself to Alonso’s path to the final. At that point, it’s a toss-up.

The final suggestion when betting this competition is to bet conservatively and have fun with it. The stakes for the players competing in the MLB HR Derby isn’t on the level of a World Series game or key at-bat, so the focus and motivation could be lacking. The last thing you want is to bust your bankroll backing a slugger that cares less about the HR Derby than you do.

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