Predictions for the MLB’s Home Run Derby

Round 1


#1 Giancarlo Stanton vs. #8 Gary Sanchez
Stanton 2017 HR Total: 26
Stanton Avg. Exit Velocity (MPH): 91.9
Stanton Avg. HR Distance (FT): 410.3 ft

Sanchez 2017 HR Total: 13
Sanchez Avg. Exit Velocity (MPH): 93.5
Sanchez Avg. HR Distance (FT): 420.9

Gifted the top-seed presumably for his showing last season, Stanton enters as the rare one-seed underdog – due to a certain Bronx Bomber’s presence (and we aren’t talking about Sanchez). Still, we have to like Stanton’s chances of getting past the first round in front of the hometown crowd. Although Sanchez’s appearance in the Derby has irked some, the Yankees catcher is a gifted masher with the ability to get on a hot streak. Sanchez will put up a fight, but Stanton picks up where he left off last year — as he will smoothly advance to the next round.

Winner: Giancarlo Stanton

#4 Mike Moustakas vs. #5 Miguel Sanó
Moustakas 2017 HR Total: 25
Moustakas Avg. Exit Velocity (MPH): 87.3
Moustakas Avg. HR Distance (FT): 398.1 ft

Sanó 2017 HR Total: 21
Sanó Avg. Exit Velocity (MPH): 95.2
Sanó Avg. HR Distance (FT): 413.9

The most intriguing of the first-round match-ups, a pair of AL All-Star third baseman will surely have some fireworks in store for the Miami crowd. Moustakas is riding a high after recently being voted in by the fans for his second appearance in the Mid-Summer Classic. With that said, Sanó was built for this contest. The Twins’ slugger will edge out the 2015 World Series champion.

Winner: Miguel Sanó

#3 Cody Bellinger vs. #6 Charlie Blackmon
Bellinger 2017 HR Total: 25
Bellinger Avg. Exit Velocity (MPH): 91.6
Bellinger Avg. HR Distance (FT): 403.5 ft

Blackmon 2017 HR Total: 20
Blackmon Avg. Exit Velocity (MPH): 93.5
Blackmon Avg. HR Distance (FT): 409.0

This match-up pits together two of the best players in the most competitive division in baseball. Both have taken a slight step-back from their torrid pace to start the year, but the All-Star break might be just what they need for the home stretch of the season. Bellinger’s picture perfect lefty-swing gives him the victory here. With many experts around baseball concerned with the harmful effects the derby has on the participants’ swing – the Rockies won’t be too upset about Blackmon making an early exit.

Winner: Cody Bellinger

#2 Aaron Judge vs. #7 Justin Bour
Judge 2017 HR Total: 30
Judge Avg. Exit Velocity (MPH): 97.3
Judge Avg. HR Distance (FT): 415.4 ft

Sanchez 2017 HR Total: 20
Sanchez Avg. Exit Velocity (MPH): 90.9
Sanchez Avg. HR Distance (FT): 398.9

It’s difficult to say any one of these match-ups will be one-sided with so many great home run hitters in the field, but does anybody think Judge will lose in the first round? Bour will be hitting at his home field — which should help a bit. He’ll have to be perfect if he is to best the league’s home run leader. Judge makes a statement in the first round with a commanding victory.

Winner: Aaron Judge

Round 2

#1 Giancarlo Stanton vs. #5 Miguel Sanó

Sanó is one of the most powerful hitters in baseball, and he certainly has a chance to win the entire contest on a good day. It’s truly splitting hairs with this great field, but we have to give the edge to Stanton for his effortless swing and the added pressure of justifying his $300 million contract.

Winner: Giancarlo Stanton

#2 Aaron Judge vs. #3 Cody Bellinger

This is where things start getting really good. Arguably the most anticipated potential match-up in the tournament, the two presumed Rookies of the Year battle it out in a game of “Anything you can do, I can do better”. On paper, Judge has the edge. He’s bombed a handful of more homers, has the fastest exit velocity in the league, and is the owner of the longest home run on the season. He also has about three inches and 40 pounds on Bellinger. The Dodgers’ rising star does have one interesting wrinkle: His Dad (former MLB player Clay) is pitching to him. If Papa Bellinger has his stuff on Monday night, we could see fireworks from young Cody. Otherwise, Judge will earn another gold star on his “rookie report card”. We’ll go with the guy that’s going to be named the AL MVP in a few months.

Winner: Aaron Judge

Finals


#1 Giancarlo Stanton vs. #2 Aaron Judge

A true match-up of titans. It’s what everybody (even non-baseball fans) wants to see. Stanton versus Judge in the Derby is essentially the closest thing we’ll ever get to a real life face-off between the Juggernaut and the Hulk. Stanton has the history on his side, along with the home town crowd cheering him on. Judge will likely get a nice ovation from the crowd himself — especially if he knocks 30 or 40 bombs in the first couple of rounds. It’s a coin-flip at this point. Playing the spoiler to Judge’s historic season, we’re going to side with the 2016 winner as he attempts to the do the unthinkable and mash 61 homers again.

Winner: Giancarlo Stanton

Sources: MLB.com, SI.com, ABCnews.com, SEC Country