It wasn’t that long ago when all four major professional sports in America were active. Back in May we had the NBA and NHL Playoffs going, Major League Baseball was in its’ third month of play and the NFL Draft was happening in New York.
Now we have reached that odd moment in American sports where there is absolutely nothing going on. There is no hockey, no hoops, no football and no baseball as the we’ve reached the All-Star Break. Of course if you’re extremely hard up for the presence of athletes on your television, then you can tune in to the ESPY Awards hosted by Drake on Wednesday night.
When I think of the word ‘Drake’ I think of duck hunting but that’s just me… Anyway, coming up tonight is the All-Star Game’s Home Run Derby and I’ve got the odds on who is favored to win in Minneapolis.
If you choose to watch the festivities this evening from Target Field then I highly suggest that you turn your television volume way down or just hit the mute button altogether. Just the thought of Chris Berman’s “back, back, back” calls turns my stomach. If you can ‘stomach’ it, then enjoy the Derby while laying some money on these home run hopefuls.
Giancarlo Stanton 3/1 – Stanton is tied for the National League lead in home runs with 21 and probably has more raw power than anyone else in the field. Because he is the favorite, does that add a little bit of pressure?
Yoenis Cespedes 9/2 – The young A’s superstar has just 14 homers a year after he hit 26 but there’s still time for him to catch that number. His quick bat could be an asset as hitting it down the lines in Target Field is crucial to getting the ball out.
Yasiel Puig 5/1 – Normally this field takes home run hitters and dismisses them with a wave of a flag but with BP pitching, a guy like Puig can thrive. He could provide some of the biggest blasts of the night.
Jose Bautista 11/2 – Joey Bats has 17 home runs which actually trails by nine, the leader on his team Edwin Encarnacion. Another guy with a quick bat, he could power some balls down the left-field line.
Troy Tulowitzki 8/1 – Tulo has 21 dingers but he of course has the asterisk that says he plays in Denver where the ball flies a little better than anywhere else. I’m not sure he has the overall power to hit enough bombs.
Josh Donaldson 10/1 – The Oakland youngster has 20 home runs which is a good number for playing in a big stadium like Oakland. I’m not sure it’s his time though.
Justin Morneau 10/1 – He will clearly be a sentimental favorite tonight as the long-time Twin comes home after spending time in Pittsburgh last season and in Colorado now. He has 13 home runs and is the only lefty in the competition.
Todd Frazier 12/1 – The Cincinnati third baseman enters with 19 home runs on the season but seven of those were considered ‘barely out.’
Adam Jones 14/1 – Baltimore’s Jones has 16 home runs and like Frazier, seven of those were considered ‘barely out’ which doesn’t bode well for this park.
Brian Dozier 14/1 – All due respect to Morneau, Dozier will be the fan favorite since he plays for the Twins and is having a very good years. Dozier has 18 home runs but his average distance of 379 feet could result in struggles for him.
Winner: Raw power is needed in this ball park where Twins’ Manager Ron Gardenhire says the ball gets out quicker to left than it does anywhere else. Therefore, I’ll take Stanton, but don’t be surprised if Puig makes a run.