MLB 2022 Home Run Derby predictions and best bets: Great value on Juan Soto and Corey Seager

Nationals right fielder Juan Soto (22) prepares to bat in the on-deck circle against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the fourth inning at PNC Park.
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Caleb Wilfinger

MLB · 3 weeks ago

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Deputy Editor for Pickswise. Lover of all US sports and Southampton FC.

On Monday, the MLB Home Run Derby is back at Dodger Stadium for the first time since 1980. The field of 8 sluggers is headlined by NL superstar outfielder Juan Soto and 2-time defending champion Pete Alonso, but there are exciting matchups and betting value to be had throughout the entire bracket.

Let’s take a look at some of the best value available for Monday night’s Home Run Derby.

2022 MLB Home Run Derby participants and odds

The Home Run Derby kicks off the 2022 MLB All-Star festivities and features 8 different hitters. The field is set up in a new bracket format, and 2-time defending champion Pete Alonso is the favorite at +185 odds at FanDuel Sportsbook. Each matchup for the first round and their overall odds to win the event can be seen below:

No. 1 Kyle Schwarber (+300) vs. No. 8 Albert Pujols (+2300)
No. 2 Pete Alonso (+185) vs. No. 7 Robert Acuña Jr. (+650)
No. 3 Corey Seager (+950) vs. No. 6 Julio Rodríguez (+950)
No. 4 Juan Soto (+650) vs. No. 5 José Ramírez (+1500)

2022 MLB Home Run Derby best bet: Juan Soto (+650)

Odds available at FanDuel Sportsbook at time of publishing

While Alonso is a recent champion in this event, Juan Soto has experienced success with the Home Run Derby before. Just last year, Soto outlasted Shohei Ohtani in his opening round matchup, before narrowly losing to eventual champion Pete Alonso. However, Soto put up a spirited fight and lost by just a single home run. Soto’s first-round matchup is manageable, as he’ll go up against Cleveland’s José Ramirez. Although Ramirez may be a tough opponent, we feel it’s better to side with Soto. The Nationals slugger has better iso power numbers this month, to the tune of 5 home runs. 

Soto’s half of the draw is a bit easier, as he will likely take on Kyle Schwarber in the semifinals instead of Alonso. While Schwarber is 2nd in the majors in home runs, Soto is near the top of the league in xSLG and exit velocity off the bat. If anyone is going to take down Schwarber on this side of the bracket, it’s Soto. And even if Soto sees Alonso in the final, only one player in MLB history has ever won 3 straight Home Run Derbies. With trade talks potentially on the horizon, Soto will want to put on a show on the All-Star stage. He’s hit big home runs in Dodger Stadium previously and should succeed once again in this competition. 

2022 MLB Home Run Derby first round best bet: Corey Seager (+100) over Julio Rodriguez

Odds available at FanDuel Sportsbook at time of publishing

Our best first round bet is banking on a former Dodger to have success at a familiar ballpark. Corey Seager is putting up some outstanding power numbers this season, but not many are paying attention to him outside of Arlington, Texas. The shortstop’s power-hitting ability has always been underrated, but Seager is in the top 4% of baseball in xSLG and near the top 10% in hard-hit rate. His opponent Julio Rodriguez does have some impressive exit velocity numbers in his own right. However, I believe the familiarity will really come into play in Seager’s favor.

Seager is hitting from the left side in a familiar ballpark that caters to lefties with its shorter distance to right field. With a home run in nearly 7% of his plate appearances this season, I don’t see why Seager isn’t favored in this matchup.

Pickswise is the home of free MLB picks and predictions. Make sure to also check out our MLB parlays and MLB prop bets tabs for more expert picks.

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