We have hit the unofficial "sports bettor's vacation" week as the MLB All-Star Break formally begins. This is usually the time of year where bettors take a break, recharge their batteries and begin to prepare for football or readjust their bankroll. Today we no longer have 15 MLB games to choose from like we have for the past three and a half months. Instead we have just one big event to get down on: The MLB Home Run Derby. For an updated breakdown of Monday's betting action, be sure to tune in to the VSiN Market Insights Podcast with Josh Appelbaum. It will be posted at 1 p.m. ET. I'll also be co-hosting the Lombardi Line alongside Dave Ross from noon-2 p.m. ET.
In the meantime, let's discuss how the betting market is shaping up for tonight's MLB Home Run Derby (8 p.m. ET).
Last year we were deprived of the Home Run Derby, as the All-Star game festivities were cancelled due to the COVID-shortened season. This year's Derby takes place at Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies. Coors has a well earned reputation for being a hitter's ballpark. Due to the elevation and thin air, the ball travels further at Coors, leading to more home runs. Sounds like a perfect place to celebrate the Home Run Derby after a year off.
Odds to win the Home Run Derby at BetMGM
Ohtani + 250
Gallo + 450
Alonso + 500
Olson + 700
Story + 850
Perez + 800
Soto + 900
Mancini + 1200
Bets to Consider
Ohtani (+ 250): Ohtani is the chalky favorite, but deservedly so. He leads all of MLB with 33 home runs. 2021 seems to be the year of Ohtani. Maybe he is due to put up a show.
Alonso (+ 500): Alonso is the defending champion, having won the Home Run Derby the last time it was played in 2019. Alonso can lean on his experience. He knows how to pace himself and what to expect. That could be his biggest advantage. Alonso only has 17 home runs this season, so he may be an under the radar buy-low play as well.
Story (+ 850): Story only has 11 home runs on the season. But he has a big edge in terms of familiarity. This is Story's home ballpark. He knows the dimensions, the weather and all the variables at play when it comes to Coors Field. Story will also have a beloved home crowd to cheer him on and provide added adrenaline and motivation.
Mancini (+ 1200): Mancini is the biggest longshot on the board. He also provides the biggest payout. Mancini has hit 16 home runs so far this season. He is also the sentimental choice as he just beat cancer after sitting out 2019. You should always bet with your head, not your heart. But we will all be pulling for Mancini as a cancer survivor.
The Home Run Derby is played through a bracket that features four head-to-head matchups. Here are the latest odds
Gallo -165 vs Story + 140
Olson -200 vs Mancini + 165
Ohtani -225 vs Soto + 185
Alonso -225 vs Perez + 180
Derby Prop Bets
Winning Player: American League -200 vs National League + 160
Distance of Longest Home Run
Over 510.5 feet (-125) vs Under 510.5 feet (+ 100)
*The over 510.5 feet prop could be worth a look. First off, the over is juiced up to -125, signaling some over liability. Also, the weather forecast is incredibly favorable; hot temperatures in the low 90s and roughly 5-10 MPH winds blowing out to right. The humidor won't be used either, which will benefit the distance of the balls traveled. All of this makes for ideal hitting conditions. The longest Home Run Derby home run since 2016 was Aaron Judge (513 feet). Former Rockies star Matt Holiday said earlier this week "I think there will definitely be a ball hit close to 550 feet. I think Ohtani has a chance to do that for sure."
Remember to check the VSiN Betting Splits every day for money and ticket counts so you can tell who the public is betting on.