Home Run Derby
The State Farm Home Run Derby isn’t just one of the highlights of the All Star break, it’s really become one of the big events of the entire season and is almost bigger than the game itself, at least in many cases it’s been more memorable.
The 2011 Home Run Derby sets up to be another great one and while I don’t think it’s anyone’s to win as there are a few entrants who I believe don’t have a shot but at the top end, it’s wide open. My two picks to win are Jose Bautista and Matt Kemp.
Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers +650
There is value every year in the Home Run Derby and this year’s value appears to be Kemp as the third longest shot on the board he has the most home runs of anyone on the National League team. Kemp is also hitting .317, plays on a team that doesn’t hit much and in a stadium not known for giving us home run champions season after season. A lot of Kemp’s numbers came for a tear he went on but this contest is all about tears and if he goes on one here we’ll be dancing, and cashing big as I’ll have something on him.
Jose Bautista, Toronto Blue Jays +300
Jose Bautista leads the Majors in home runs and for the past two seasons has been the most feared hitter in the game. We need to remember that Bautista doesn’t get the same protection in the lineup as a lot of the other guys so it makes his numbers even that much more astounding. Bautista has 31 homers and is hitting .334, just behind Gonzalez in the standings. Bautista has a legitimate shot at MVP this year and winning this contest would really stamp him on the minds of many. If anyone is going to put on a show in any of the rounds this year, something that has been a trademark of the competition, this is the guy.
Matt Kemp +650 and Jose Bautista +300