MLB Home Run Derby Predictions, Props, Best Bets

Seattle Mariners outfielder Julio Rodriguez during spring training workouts at Peoria Sports Complex.
Image Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

This article outlines the top MLB Home Run Derby predictions and prop bets from the staff.

It’s important to note that these are small, fun wagers used for entertainment instead of boosting your bankroll. In other words, we are only betting very small unit sizes on the HR Derby, and it’s probably best if you do the same.

MLB Home Run Derby Predictions: Outright Winners

Here are the staff MLB Home Run Derby predictions for who will lift the trophy at the end of the event:

Pete Alonso Outright Winner

Analyst: Matt LaMarca
Best odds: +230 | PointsBet (boosted odds)

First things first – I’m a Mets fan. I feel it’s important to get that out of the way before making my pick because it’s impossible for me to be unbiased about Alonso. He’s won this event in two straight years, and he has power for days. He ranks in the 98th percentile in terms of max exit velocity, so he can hit them as far as anyone in the league.

That said, this pick comes down to two things: motivation and Dave Jauss. Alonso cares about this event more than anyone. He takes pride in being the league’s premier power hitter. He’s not going to take his foot off the gas, especially since he has the chance to make history with another win.

Meanwhile, Jauss is an absolute machine of a pitcher. Look at his heat map from last year:

Pitching is the great equalizer in this event. You can have all the power in the world, but if your pitcher can’t put it on the spot, you’re not going to win. Just ask Shohei Ohtani. With Jauss on the mound, Alonso has a massive edge over the rest of the field.

Julio Rodriguez Outright Winner

Analyst: Josh Shepardson
Best odds: +900 | BetMGM

Julio Rodriguez is a right-handed batter, and that should give him a massive leg up on his lefty-hitting peers in the Home Run Derby. According to FantasyPros, Dodger Stadium has a park factor of 1.062 for left-handed homers. However, righties are treated to a 1.406 park factor for homers.

J-Rod is also an exit-velocity darling, which has been meaningful for recent winners. Since MLB switched to the current Home Run Derby format, Todd Frazier (2015) was the only winner with a FB/LD exit velocity in the regular season below 95.5 mph, per Baseball Savant.

This year, Jose Ramirez (91.7 mph), Corey Seager (95.1 mph), and Albert Pujols (95.4 mph) all are below the 95.5 mph threshold. Yet, J-Rod has had a blistering 96.7 mph FB/LD exit velocity, tied for the 17th-best mark among qualified hitters.

If the rookie wins, he’ll have to beat fellow righty slugger Ronald Acuna Jr. or the reining back-to-back Home Run Derby champion Pete Alonso in the second round. It’s a tall task, but J-Rod’s odds are much too enticing to overlook. Besides, if you want to be the best, you must beat the best, right?

Juan Soto Outright Winner

Analyst: John Supowitz
Best odds: +600 | Caesars Sportsbook

Juan Soto had an impressive showing in his first Home Run Derby last year. He tied with Shohei Ohtani (not once but twice) where Soto won a three-pitch swing-off. In the second round, the future champion Pete Alonso would edge him out 16-15.

This year, Soto will face off against Jose Ramirez, who will be entering his first derby. Then I will predict he goes against former Nationals’ teammate Kyle Schwarber in the second round. Schwarber, who competed in the 2018 derby, advised Soto last season, but this year it will be the student who will prevail over the teacher.

The final round should be a rematch between Soto and Alonso. The two had an exciting battle last year, and it will happen again with Soto de-throning the back-to-back champ and leaving the Polar Bear on ice.

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MLB Home Run Derby Predictions: Prop Bets

Here are’s staff Home Run Derby Predictions when it comes to prop bets, matchup plays, and home run distance bets.

Will The Derby Distance Record Be Broken? Yes

Analyst: Matt LaMarca
Best odds: +1600 | DraftKings Sportsbook

The current record for the longest homer at the Derby is 520 feet, which was mashed last year by Juan Soto at Coors Field. The hitting conditions at Coors are obviously ideal for moonshots, so it’s unlikely that record goes down in 2022.

But do you really want to be the guy rooting against long bombs while watching the Derby? I didn’t think so. And it’s not like a bomb is impossible outside of Coors: Josh Hamilton hit one 518 feet at Yankee Stadium in 2008, and Bobby Abreu hit one 517 feet at Comerica Park in 2005. If Abreu can hit one that far in Detroit, there’s no reason someone like Alonso or Kyle Schwarber can’t hit one 525 feet this year.

So let’s take a shot on a massive big fly at +1600. It’s a fun bet that will be live for every single swing, so I can think of plenty of worse things to wager on.

Julio Rodriguez Beats Corey Seager

Analyst: Josh Shepardson
Best odds: -115 | DraftKings Sportsbook

J-Rod’s quest for the crown will open with beating a former Dodger, Corey Seager, in the first round. The rookie has the park factor advantage over Seager. However, he’s also had the exit velocity advantage. Seager has had a 95.1 mph FB/LD exit velocity, barely cracking the top-50 hitters at tied for 48th. Meanwhile, as I already mentioned, J-Rod is tied for 17th with a FB/LD exit velocity of 96.7 mph.

Additionally, Seager isn’t a stranger to getting ousted in the first round. In 2016, he hit only 15 homers in the first round, losing to Mark Trumbo’s 16 blasts. The rookie will capture the fans’ attention at the stadium and onlookers watching at home, starting with a first-round victory.

Juan Soto’s Longest Home Run Over 470.5 ft

Analyst: John Supowitz
Best odds: -110 | FanDuel Sportsbook

Soto has tons of power, and maybe he was thinking he should get a million dollars for every foot he can hit one out. He displayed plenty of power in the derby last year — of the 46 home runs he hit, ten went over 475 feet, including the longest home run ever tracked by Statcast at 520 feet.

Going under the 470.5 feet mark would mean he wouldn’t get that additional 30-second bonus, and it will undoubtedly be an almost impossible task to win if he doesn’t get it. Put him way over the 470 feet as he may crush a few and send some gifts all over Hollywood.