With just one former winner in this year’s field, the 2015 Home Run Derby is likely to have a first-time champion. A few days before this year’s contest, the runner-up in the 2014 Derby is the favorite to win the title during MLB's All-Star break.
Todd Frazier (7/2) has been given the best betting odds at Bovada.lv to win the competition, leading the rest of the contestants. The Cincinnati Reds third baseman was a longshot to win the title last year, but he made it all the way to the finals, falling to back-to-back champion Yoenis Cespedes.
After hitting a career-high 29 home runs in 2014, Frazier has emerged as one of MLB’s top power hitters. His 25 home runs are the second-most of any player in the 2015 Derby, and he tails Giancarlo Stanton by just two home runs for the Major-League lead.
Kris Bryant (5/1) is the second favorite, even though he has fewer home runs than any other contestant this season. He’s one of just two players in the field that doesn’t have at least 16 home runs and rank no worse than 21st in the Majors. The Chicago Cubs rookie has 12 dingers, though he didn’t start the season in the big leagues. He’s averaging a home run in nearly every 23 at-bats.
The only contestant that’s won the competition before is Prince Fielder (11/2), having taken home the trophy in both 2009 and 2012. He’s having one of his worst home-run seasons of his career with just 13 long balls, but the designated hitter has been terrific for the Texas Rangers in 2015. His .345 batting average is second in the American League, and only Frazier and Bryant have better odds to win the Derby.
Albert Pujols (6/1) is the AL leader with 26 home runs, topping every other contestant. He’s competed in the event three times, never winning and having his best finish 12 years ago when he came in second place behind Garrett Anderson.
Chicago is the only team that has two representatives in the contest. Bryant has better odds than Anthony Rizzo (13/2), even though the first baseman has hit four more home runs than his teammate.
Joc Pederson, Josh Donaldson and Manny Machado are all tied for having the worst odds (7/1) of anyone in Monday’s competition. Pederson has 20 home runs and he's a leading candidate, along with Bryant, to be named the National League Rookie of the Year. Donaldson has 21 home runs, and he’s in the conversation for AL MVP. Machado’s 19 home runs are already a career-high.
Along with Frazier, Donaldson competed in last year’s Home Run Derby. He didn’t make it out of the first round, hitting just three long balls.
Giancarlo Stanton, Mike Trout and Bryce Harper are among the notable names that won't be in the 2015 Derby.