Prince Fielder is the only player in the 2015 Home Run Derby to have won the contest before, and the experience might give him a leg up on the competition. Even though the designated hitter is having one of his worst home-run seasons of his career, Fielder has become the favorite to win Monday’s event.
The Texas Rangers star is tied with Todd Frazier for the top betting odds (9/2) in the field at Bovada.lv. Frazier entered the weekend as the lone favorite in the field, but Fielder’s odds improved once MLB All-Star Week began.
With 14 home runs on the season, only the Chicago Cubs’ Kris Bryant has fewer home runs on the year among Monday’s contestants. Fielder has hit at least 28 home runs in seven different seasons, and 2015 could end up being one of his best years at the plate. His .339 batting average is a career-high, and he has a .521 slugging percentage.
Fielder won the Home Run Derby in 2009 and 2012, and his experience is one of the reasons why he’s tied with Frazier for being the favorite. Frazier came in second place in the 2014 Home Run Derby, and his 25 long balls are the second-most of all the 2015 contestants.
Albert Pujols (5/1) leads the field with 26 homers, tying him for the American League lead with Mike Trout. He’s been in the Home Run Derby three times, never finishing in first place.
Josh Donaldson and Joc Pederson are the only other players in the Derby that have at least 20 home runs at the All-Star Break. Donaldson’s odds (7/1) are near the bottom of the field, but Pederson (5/1) has emerged as one of the more likely winners.
Pederson and Bryant (11/2) are the top two contenders to win the National League Rookie of the Year Award. Bryant has hit for a better average, driven in more runs and stolen more bases. But Pederson has topped him in the power department with eight more home runs and a higher slugging percentage, giving him the better chance of winning the Derby on Monday.
Anthony Rizzo (7/1) with his 16 home runs is not among the favorites. He has the second-highest slugging percentage of any 2015 contestant.
Manny Machado is the biggest long shot in the field. He has 19 homers on the year, but he never hit more than 14 in any of his previous three seasons.
Prediction: Joc Pederson