Thirty-five home runs in the first half of any season will certainly get a player noticed, but it also lands him a spot in MLB’s Home Run Derby.
Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis is the overwhelming favorite for this year’s derby, and heads a solid American League squad looking for a fourth straight win over the National League this year at Citi Field in New York.
For the third year in a row, captains from each league handpicked their squads with New York Yankee second baseman Robinson Cano leading the AL against Mets third baseman David Wright’s NL team.
Joining Davis and Cano are Detroit’s Prince Fielder and Athletics outfielder Yoenis Cespedes.
Wright chose Washington’s Bryce Harper, Colorado’s Michael Cuddyer and Carlos Gonzalez. However, Gonzalez was forced to pull out with a sprained right middle finger injury and Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez will fill in.
Combined the players on the AL side have hit 87 home runs, to 65 from the NL.
The AL also has the experience edge, with both Cano and Fielder having previously won the contest. Fielder will make his fourth career appearance, and can try to best his 28-homer performance from last year. The only player to win the contest for both leagues, Fielder has a chance to tie Ken Griffey Jr.’s record of three home run derby victories. Cano won in 2011 at Chase Field in Phoenix by besting Adrian Gonzalez with 32 home runs.
Wright is the only member for the NL to have participated in the derby before. Back in 2006, he lost to Philadelphia's Ryan Howard by one home run.
Based off odds from Bovada, Davis and Fielder are tied as 15-to-4 favorites, with Harper behind them at 9-to-2 and Cano and Cespedes at 11-to-2.
Captain: New York Yankees 2B Robinson Cano, 21 HR
Baltimore Orioles 1B Chris Davis, 35 HR
Detroit Tigers 1B Prince Fielder, 16 HR
Oakland Athletics OF Yoenis Cespedes, 15 HR
Captain: New York Mets 3B David Wright, 13 HR
Washington Nationals OF Bryce Harper, 13 HR
Pittsburgh Pirates 3B Pedro Alvarez, 24 HR
Colorado Rockies OF Michael Cuddyer, 15 HR
TV Channel: ESPN and ESPN Deportes
Radio: ESPN Radio
Time: Monday, June 15 at 8 p.m. ET
Prediction: Wright excites his home crowd with a run to the finals, where Fielder just edges him out.
Currently covering NBA, NFL, MLB, along with Real Madrid and Barcelona, focusing on trades, controversy, and injury updates. Joined IB Times in August 2012.