Home Run Derby Odds: Bautista the Favorite
by Richard Gardner | Bodog Sportsbook Manager - 7/7/2011
The baseballs will be flying back, back, back, back and out of the park on Monday in the annual Home Run Derby, this year’s version being held at Chase Field in Phoenix, Ariz.
Boston’s David Ortiz is the defending champion, having bashed 32 dingers in total last year in Anaheim. Big Papi defeated Hanley Ramirez, 11-5, in the final round to take the crown.
Ortiz will once again be part of the fun this year, but he’s not the favorite to win. That honor falls to Toronto’s Jose Bautista, who we’re giving 3/1 odds to win the derby in his first ever appearance in the competition. The rest of the odds are as follows:
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David Ortiz 7/2
Prince Fielder 7/2
Matt Holliday 4/1
Adrian Gonzalez 7/1
Matt Kemp 7/1
Robinson Cano 15/2
Rickie Weeks 12/1
Not surprisingly, most of the early action has come in on the favorite, who hammered his MLB-leading 28th home run on Tuesday versus the Red Sox. Bautista led all of baseball last year with 54 round-trippers, 12 more than the runner up in the home run category, Albert Pujols.
For a guy that didn’t start hitting for power until his late 20s, Bautista’s story is certainly a compelling one. In fact, it’s even led to questions about possible steroid use. But Bautista maintains that all he did was make a few swing adjustments, giving hope to every other player that they too could one day become home run kings if they just make a couple of little changes.
As for the approach Bautista will be taking on Monday?
"I'll take it just like batting practice," he said. "It's a one-day thing, it happens once. I'm not superstitious, and I don't think it's going to mess up my swing.
"I'm not going to go there and try to change my swing for the sake of hitting more home runs. I'm just going to go out there and have fun, hopefully hit some out. If I win, great. If not, it will be a great experience."
Ortiz and Fielder, the 2009 champion, have commanded the lion’s share of the other action. But for those bettors looking for a potentially bigger payout, we’ve booked a fair number of smallish wagers on the long shot, Rickie Weeks, Fielder’s Milwaukee teammate.
Remember that all these guys can hit it out of the park and they’re not going up against actual pitchers. If one of them gets into a groove, it can be game over. Just remember 2005, when Bobby Abreu smashed a record 41 homers, including a then-record 24 in the first round (later broken by Josh Hamilton, with 28 in 2008). Abreu was a good hitter, but he never tallied more than 31 home runs in a single season. He just got hot at the right time.
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