MLB’s All-Star week is set to take center stage, now that the World Cup is over and the NBA’s top free agents have signed new contracts. The festivities begin on Monday night with the 2014 Home Run Derby.
The 2014 Home Derby will be unlike any in recent years. While the 2013 champion, Yoenis Céspedes, will look to defend his title, none of the other competitors were a part of last year’s event. The number of contestants has increased from eight to 10, and a new format has been put into place.
A new bracket format will help determine the winner of the 2014 Home Run Derby. One side of the bracket is composed of five American League players, while the other side is made up of five National League players. The top AL and NL contestant will battle in the fourth and final round.
Each batter will get seven outs per round, and home runs won't carry over to the next round. The fourth- and fifth-place finishers from each league will be eliminated in Round One. The second- and third-place finishers from each league will face off in Round Two, while the Round One winners automatically advance to Round Three.
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Betting Odds (Bovada.lv)
Giancarlo Stanton 3/1: Tied for fifth in the Majors with 21 home runs, he’s the clear favorite, hitting five homers of at least 450 feet this season.
Yasiel Puig 5/1: His 12 home runs rank him last among this year’s contestants, but he's one of the most exciting players in baseball.
Yoenis Céspedes 5/1: Last year’s winner had an incredible first round, launching 17 home runs.
Jose Bautista 11/2: The Toronto Blue Jays outfielder competed in 2011 and 2012, where he lost to Prince Fielder in the finals.
Troy Tulowitzki 8/1: The shortstop is in the early running for NL MVP, leading the MLB with a 1.048 OPS.
Josh Donaldson 10/1: His batting average has taken a major dip from a year ago, but Donaldson is well on pace to set a career-high in home runs.
Justin Morneau 10/1: The first baseman only has 13 home runs, but he’s competed in the event twice, winning in 2008.
Adam Jones 12/1: The Baltimore Orioles outfielder might be having the best season of his career, with a .301 average, 16 home runs and 54 RBI I the first half.
Brian Dozier 12/1: The second baseman and his 18 home runs will try to win the derby in fromt of his hometown fans.
Todd Frazier 12/1: The third baseman has already matched his home run total from 2012 and 2013 with 19 on the season.
The contest is set to begin at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN. Viewers can watch a free live stream online with WatchESPN.