It’s All-Star Weekend and that means we get to break down some All-Star prop bets. Continuing the gambling odds series that began in the preseason, we just can’t get enough of breaking down betting lines. There are a lot of good props this weekend, especially involving the Home Run Derby this evening Let’s jump in.
Home Run Derby: Monday, July 10 @ 6:00 pm MT (ESPN)
Who will win the Home Run Derby?
As of this writing, the Miami Marlins Giancarlo Stanton (+170) is a slight underdog to the New York Yankees Aaron Judge (+155). Stanton won the Derby last year and now defends his title at home, which is the only reason this is close. Judge should be the favorite. Of his 30 home runs on the season, 20 of them have gone at least 400 feet. He swings hard and hits the ball a long way. If you’re looking for a safe bet, look no further than Judge.
Looking at the rest of the field, the names that jump out at me are Colorado Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon (+2000) and Yankees catcher Gary Sánchez (+1600). Blackmon is getting no love from betting markets and has the longest odds of winning the derby. However, of the guys on this list, only two of them have averaged longer distances on their home runs this year than Blackmon has: Judge and Sánchez. Sánchez actually has the second highest average distance in the league this year behind only Kendrys Morales. If you’re a risk taker or want to hedge your Judge bet, Blackmon and Sanchez are flying way under the radar.
Longest Home Run: Over 499.5 feet (-350), Under 499.5 feet (+250)
Stanton hit two 497-foot home runs in last year’s derby, the longest home runs in derby history, and the oddsmakers believe a 500-foot shot is likely this year. We’ve heard a lot this season about juiced baseballs, and that may be what’s driving these odds. The other factor is having Judge and Stanton in the field, who both look like they could hit a baseball to the moon. I’m with the oddsmakers on this one: A 500-foot home run seems inevitable.
Total Home Runs hit by a player: Under 46.5 (-190), Over 46.5 (+150)
Last year, Stanton became the first player ever to hit at least 47 home runs in a derby, when he hit 61. Aside from Stanton’s performance, only Todd Frazier (42 in 2016) and Bobby Abreu (41 in 2005) have hit over 40 in the history of the competition. That said, four of the five highest home run totals in the derby have occurred in the last two years, and the home run revolution the league is currently experiencing leads me to believe someone will indeed hit 47 this year. I’d take the over at even odds. I love the +150 here.
All-Star Game: Tuesday, July 11 @ 6:00 pm MT (Fox)
Who will win the 2017 All-Star Game?
The American League (-115) is favored over the National League (+105) this year. The AL has been dominant in the event recently, winning four straight and going 22-7-1 over the last 30 games. The last time the game was decided by more than three runs was in 2012, so recently, pitching has been the key to success. The NL is carrying six relievers compared to only three for the AL. Having a group of guys who are used to coming out and throwing just one inning should be an advantage. The bottom line is All-Star games are hard to predict. I recommend staying away from the outcome here and focusing on the Home Run Derby props.
Who will win the All-Star Game MVP
Aside from Mariano Rivera winning the award in 2013 in his farewell tour season, the last time a pitcher won the MVP was in 1999 when Pedro Martínez took the crown. It’s a very safe bet the award will go to a hitter, and likely one of the starters. The last time a bench player was awarded MVP was in 2010, when Brian McCann took home the trophy.
The field is the favorite at +150, but individual favorites are Marcell Ozuna (+800), Giancarlo Stanton (+900), Bryce Harper (+1000) and Aaron Judge (+1400). If you think the AL will win the game, Judge is a solid bet here. Fan voting accounts for 20 percent of the final results, and Judge is a fan favorite. He’s your safe bet once again. Although I’d hedge with the field no matter which individual you’re taking.
Some other interesting names are Nolan Arenado (+1800) and the Houston Astros George Springer (+1600). Springer has a knack for hitting home runs in big moments and, should the AL win, I wouldn’t be surprised if he had a big hand in the outcome. Arenado can contribute with the bat and the glove, making him an enticing bet. If he makes a couple signature Arenado plays at third and shows off his power at the plate, he could lead the NL to a win. I really like the Arenado bet but my blinders may be on:
There you have it, your guide to All-Star Weekend prop bets. It should be a fun weekend featuring a lot of home runs and maybe some MVP caliber heroics from one of the Rockies’ four representatives. Enjoy the festivities!