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Home Run Derby: Bryce Harper Favored to Win

July 16, 2018

On Monday night, the 2018 MLB All-Star festivities kick off with the always popular MLB Home Run Derby. Washington Nationals star Bryce Harper hopes to atone for the loss he suffered in the final round of the Home Run Derby in 2013 as he returns to take part in this year’s event as the +225 favorite.

The Nationals outfielder is going to have the noisy support of fans as the event will be held at Nationals Park. Harper will take on Atlanta Braves slugger Freddie Freeman during the quarterfinals.

Harper arrives at the All-Star break in an eighth-place tie for home runs in the majors with 23. Of the 23 he has hit this season, 11 have been at Nationals Park.

Harper is currently listed at +1200 to win the National League MVP award this season, which would be his second. He hit 24 home runs during the 2013 Home Run Derby but lost in the final round to Yoenis Cespedes who eventually went on to win the event that year.

Harper by no means is considered the overwhelming favorite for the derby at +225. Close behind is Kyle Schwarber an outfielder for the Chicago Cubs who is currently at +333. Schwarber is followed by Jesus Aguilar the Milwaukee Brewers’ first baseman with odds of +500 just ahead of Javier Baez the second baseman for the Chicago Cubs at +550, which rounds out the top four in the eight-man field.

Schwarber is debuting in the Home Run Derby, following a strong first half to the season. The 25-year old, who has hit 18 homers in the 82 games he has played while knocking in 41 RBIs, is on pace to have a career season. Schwarber also has a .992 field percentage.

Schwarber’s play has contributed a great deal to the success the Cubs have had in taking the lead in the NL Central by 2 ½ games over second place Milwaukee, while holding solid odds of +700 to win the World Series.

Baez has been a big contributor to the success this season of the Cub as well. The second baseman is leading the team in home runs with 19 and RBIs with 72. Milwaukee’s Aguilar has enjoyed a breakthrough season during just his second full season in the league, and currently has 24 homers and 70 RBIs.

The odds for the second four in the Home Run Derby are topped by Rhys Hoskins an outfielder for the Philadelphia Phillies at +650, followed by Max Muncy the first baseman for the Los Angeles Dodgers at +700, and Freeman, who plays first base for the Atlanta Braves at +850 and finally longshot Alex Bregman the third baseman for the Houston Astros at +1100.

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