No. 1 Mark Trumbo (Baltimore Orioles) vs. No. 8 Corey Seager (Los Angeles Dodgers)
Trumbo, the Orioles’ right fielder, leads baseball with 26 home runs. His opposition, rookie sensation Corey Seager, rounds out the field with 17 home runs. This is a battle of power versus consistency. Trumbo should have no problem smacking many homers, as his game is largely based off his prodigious strength. Seager, on the other hand, has quickly made a name for himself by being a hitter who can play to all fields. While he clearly has power, Seager’s swing is geared more towards being a line drive hitter. Expect Trumbo and his easy, powerful swing, to advance to the next round.
No. 4 Robinson Cano (Seattle Mariners) vs. No. 5 Giancarlo Stanton (Miami Marlins)
The most intriguing matchup of the opening round pits former Home Run Derby winner, Robinson Cano, against one of baseballs most feared sluggers, Giancarlo Stanton. After a rough start to the season last year, Cano has returned to form for the Mariners. Playing in a home-field generally regarded as a pitcher-friendly place, Cano has still managed to slug 20 home runs in the first half of the season. Stanton, who had an abysmal start to the year, has started to turn it around as of late. With four homers in the past seven days, Stanton is up to 19 for the season. Riding a hot bat and motivation to hit a ball over the warehouse in left, Stanton advances.
No. 2 Todd Frazier (Chicago White Sox) vs. No. 7 Carlos Gonzalez (Colorado Rockies)
Frazier, the defending champion, has 23 home runs for Chicago’s forgotten team. Gonazlez has 18 homers thus far and is more familiar with Petco and how the park plays. This is an interesting matchup that can go either way. Frazier seemingly rode the momentum of his home crowd last year in Cincinnati to win the title; can he pull it off a second year in a row? The potential snag in Gonzalez’s plan is similar to that off Seager’s. Like Seager, Gonzalez is one of the best pure hitters in baseball. With an effortless swing, Gonzalez isn’t geared toward strictly hitting home runs, although his power is almost unmatched. In a very close contest, I see CarGo advancing.
No. 3 Adam Duvall (Cincinnati Reds) vs. No. 6 Wil Myers (San Diego Padres)
Duvall looks to become the second player Cincinnati Red to win in a row, while the hometown favorite, Myers, looks to give San Diego something to cheer about for the first time in a long while. Myers has hit 13 of his 19 home runs at Petco this season, and while all the pressure will be on Myers to perform in his home park, look for the inexperience of Duvall to be the difference. Duvall’s nerves coupled with Myers’ home-field advantage should be enough for Myers to narrowly squeak by and into the next round.
Winner: Wil Myers