One of the most popular fan-friendly events of MLB All-Star week will be the 2019 MLB Home Run Derby. Progressive Field in Cleveland will be no match for eight of the most exciting sluggers in baseball on Monday as they try to launch as many balls out of the park as possible. The action starts at 8 p.m. ET and the eight 2019 MLB Home Run Derby participants have been seeded 1-8 for what should be an awe-inspiring display of power. Mets rookie Pete Alonso has already made history this year, as his 27th home run on June 23 set the franchise rookie record for a single season. The 24-year-old is listed at 5-1 in the latest 2019 Home Run Derby odds, but despite having home run exit velocities of 118.3 and 117.1 m.p.h. this season, he’s not the favorite. That honor goes to Pirates slugger Josh Bell, who’s at 7-2 MLB Home Run Derby odds 2019 after Christian Yelich bowed out with a back injury. Before you make any 2019 Home Run Derby picks, be sure to see the baseball predictions from SportsLine data scientist Mike McClure.
McClure, a daily Fantasy pro and predictive data engineer, has won almost $2 million in his career. He was recognized in the book “Fantasy Football (and Baseball) for Smart People: How to Turn your hobby into a Fortune” as a top Daily Fantasy Baseball Player. Additionally, his wOBA projection model returned $2,236 to $100 bettors on MLB picks over the past three seasons.
Furthermore, McClure crushed his Home Run Derby picks in 2018. He confidently locked in Bryce Harper as his projected winner, calling him “the easy choice” to win. The result: Harper rolled to the title, and anybody who followed McClure’s advice cashed in huge.
Now, McClure has analyzed the Home Run Derby 2019 field and locked in his best bets only over at SportsLine.
We can tell you that McClure is fading Blue Jays rookie Vladimir Guerrero Jr., one of the top Vegas favorites at 9-2. The 20-year-old son of a Hall of Famer hasn’t put up the same titanic numbers that he did in the minor leagues to make him the consensus top prospect in baseball, but he’s still shown flashes this season. After hitting 25 home runs in just 357 at-bats last season, Guerrero has eight home runs so far this year and has five batted ball events with exit velocities of 114.9 m.p.h. or higher.
However, consistency hasn’t been there, as he’s not in the top 50 in average exit velocity this season. Guerrero is slashing .247/.326/.414 for the season and a .278 BABIP suggests he’s not getting extraordinarily unlucky by any means. Quality of contact has been an issue for Guerrero, who has a 21.2 percent soft contact rate that is nearly 62 percent higher than Yelich’s 13.1 percent this season.
And even when he does make solid contact, launch angle has been an issue, as he’s profiled as more of a line-drive hitter. So even though he’s more than capable of hammering the baseball, he may not generate the lift needed to be a factor on Monday.
McClure has locked in his pick to win as well as a colossal long shot you need to jump on now. You can only see who he’s backing for every single matchup over at SportsLine.
So who wins the 2019 Home Run Derby? And which huge long shot is a must back? Check out the latest 2019 Home Run Derby odds below, and then visit SportsLine now to see who to back, all from the renowned MLB expert who nailed Harper’s win in 2018.