Major League Baseball’s brightest stars are out to shine in Los Angeles this coming week, as the annual MLB All-Star festivities kick off with Monday’s long-awaited Home Run Derby. Mets slugger Pete Alonso has dominated this contest for the past couple of years, but this season’s field of challengers could very well be the most competitive bunch of late.
Nitrobetting is ready to lend a hand to its bettors with their winning bets to be shot out of the park. This time, let’s take a closer look at Monday’s upcoming spectacle with our preview below for the 2022 Home Run Derby.
2022 MLB Home Run Derby Preview
Albert Pujols will compete in this year's Home Run Derby, a source confirmed to ESPN. The Athletic was first to report this news.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 12, 2022
This is Pujols' 22nd and final season in MLB 👏 pic.twitter.com/IkddRndrIG
READ MORE: 2022 MLB Home Run Derby Sleeper Picks
Ever since joining the majors in 2019, New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso has made his presence felt as one of the best sluggers in all of baseball. So much so that he won the 2019 MLB Home Run Derby in his rookie season. Then after skipping the 2020 Home Run Derby due to the global pandemic, Polar Bear Pete went right back to task in 2021 and captured his second Derby title.
In just these two Home Run Derby appearances, Alonso is now the event’s all-time leader in dingers with a whopping 131 homers; over 20 more long balls than the next man behind him on the list in Joc Pederson (99 Derby HRs). That being said, Alonso is the clear-cut favorite to win the 2022 edition of the Home Run Derby this Monday for all sports writers like us to milk the most out of Three-Pete puns while we still can.
The Top Contenders for Alonso’s Derby Crown
A strong blend of veteran stars and rising talents make up the rest of the 2022 Home Run Derby field. Perhaps the closest challenger to Alonso’s throne is two-time Silver Slugger Award winner and former World Series champion, Juan Soto. The 23-year-old Dominican won the 2020 batting title and was a runner-up for last season’s NL MVP award, with Soto also becoming the youngest Washington Nationals player to reach 100 home runs earlier in April this year.
In terms of pure brute strength, though, few can compare to the muscle that Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Kyle Schwarber will bring to the table. Amongst all Home Run Derby participants this year, Schwarber has the most home runs to date with 28, giving him a decent shot at dethroning Alonso this Monday.
For those looking to back a much younger prospect, look no futher than the Seattle Mariners’ rookie sensation in Julio Rodriguez. The 21-year-old prospect is having himself quite the first impression in the big leagues, as Rodriguez already has 15 home runs as a pro and with nine of those blasts coming since the start of June alone.
The rest of the field consists of Atlanta Braves franchise cornerstone Ronald Acuna Jr. (Alonso’s first-round opponent), Cleveland Guardians standout Jose Ramirez, Texas Rangers veteran Corey Seager, and 42-year-old future Hall-of-Famer and St. Louis Cardinals legend Albert Pujols, who’s playing in his final MLB season. New York Yankees superstar Aaron Judge, who currently leads the MLB this season in homers (31), did not throw his hat into the mix of this year’s Home Run Derby.
*All odds stated are subject to change without prior notice.