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 by 3 p.m. ET. I'll also be joining The Lombardi Line at 1:30 p.m. ET and co-hosting Betting Across America with Mike Pritchard from 3 to 4 p.m. ET.
In the meantime, let's discuss where smart money is leaning for tonight's MLB Home Run Derby.
The first half of the 2022 MLB regular season is in the books and now the All-Star Break is upon us. Luckily for bettors, we still have something to get down on tonight: the Home Run Derby.
The Derby takes place at 8 p.m. ET at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. The contest will be played in bracket-form, with seeding based upon the number of homers each player has hit in the first half.
Here are the first round matchups
Kyle Schwarber (1) vs Albert Pujols (8)
Pete Alonso (2) vs Ronald Acuna Jr (7)
Corey Seager (3) vs Julio Rodriguez (6)
Juan Soto (4) vs Jose Ramirez (5)
The Rules: Each player receives three minutes in the first two rounds to hit as many homers as possible. In the third and final round, each player receives two minutes. Each player receives a 30-second bonus at the end of the round. The bonus time can increase to 60-seconds if they hit a homer 440-feet or more. Each player receives one time out per round (45 seconds). If two players are tied at the end of a round, they will engage in a 60-second "swing off." The total prize money is $2.5-million with the winner taking home $1-million.
Here are the odds to win the Derby at BetMGM. Players are broken down into "risers" and "fallers" based on their line movement.
Alonso (+190 to +155): Alonso has won the last two Home Run Derbies and is aiming for a three-peat. The Mets' slugger is tied for 5th in MLB with 24 home runs. Alonso opened as the favorite and his odds have shortened, signaling some respected money riding the two-time Derby champ. Alonso's biggest advantage will be his experience. He knows what to expect and how to pace himself.
Rodriguez (+1000 to +900): The Mariners' outfielder is currently the favorite to win the AL Rookie of the Year at -400. Rodriguez has hit 16 homers, which puts him tied for 32nd in baseball. Rodriguez is the youngest player in the field (21). His youth might be an advantage and his odds have improved slightly from the open, signaling some money in his favor.
Schwarber (+300 to +325): Schwarber ranks 2nd in MLB with 29 homers, trailing only Aaron Judge (33). Schwarber reached the Derby Finals is 2018, losing to Bryce Harper in the championship. Despite being the top seed, Schwarber's odds have taken a dip. Why are the oddsmakers gifting a larger payout to the top seed who has the most homers of any contestant? If it looks too good to be true, it usually is.
Seager (+900 to +1000): Seager is tied for 9th in MLB with 22 homers. The star shortstop is returning to Dodger Stadium for the first time since signing with the Rangers in the offseason. His odds have gotten worse, although he does possess institutional knowledge and familiarity with the stadium, which could be a benefit.
Ramirez (+1500 to +1600): Ramirez is tied for 18th in MLB with 19 homers. His payout has increased, which indicates a lack of support in the market.
Pujols (+2000 to +2200): Pujols is the sentimental pick for many bettors. He has the largest payout but has only hit 6 homers for the Cardinals this season. The 42-year-old future Hall of Famer will have to fight father time and upset the younger field. Smart money isn't banking on it.
Soto (+600): Soto just made headlines by rejecting a 15-year, $440 million contract extension with the Nats, who will now look to trade the young phenom. Soto is tied for 14th in MLB with 20 homers. Soto set the record for the longest homer in Derby history last season (520 feet). Soto reached the semifinals in last year's competition.
Acuna Jr (+700): Acuna Jr has hit just 8 homers this season. He is coming off a major injury after missing much of 2021. Acuna reached the semifinals in the 2019 Derby, losing to the eventual winner Alonso.
Here are the over/under totals for each player (all -110 juice both sides)
Here are some notable prop bets
WInning player: National League (-500) vs American League (+325)
Total Swing Offs: Over 0.5 (-135), Under 0.5 (+105)
Total Home Runs 250.5
Distance of Longest Home Run 491.5