The 2021 Home Run Derby is set to take place Monday night (8 p.m. ET, ESPN) from Coors Field in Denver, as eight of MLB’s top hitters swing for the fences in the rarefied air of Mile High City.
The Home Run Derby is unique in many ways, and for punters it is a premier event in that it takes center stage while the rest of sport – as well as other sports across the board. the country – are on break.
Ordinarily, it’s the only major professional sporting event on the calendar, but even with the NBA Finals still in full swing, Monday and Tuesday are both statutory holidays. The WNBA also begins its Olympic break after Sunday, and with the end of the NHL season and Euro 2020 ending this weekend, the Home Run Derby is the only one for fans and bettors.
Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a newbie bettor, there are plenty of ways to deposit your hard cash while still enjoying the event on Monday night. Here, we’ll break down all the ways you can do it:
The first and most obvious way to bet on Home Run Derby is to simply pick the winner, which you can find at any legal bookmaker. Here are the odds, via PointsBet:
|Odds via PointsBet and as of July 9|
As is the case with most events, the odds vary based on the book, so be sure to shop around to find the best price on the batter you think has the best chance of winning.
The longest home run
It doesn’t end there, of course, as many books offer a variety of accessories, so you can choose the one that suits your betting needs. DraftKings, for example, offers a variety of uber-specific actions, including the distance covered by the longest home run:
|Length of longest home run (measured in feet)|
|Over 503.5 (-113)|
|Less than 503.5 (-113)|
It’s important to remember that Coors Field is MLB’s friendliest baseball stadium. The stadium sits 5,190 feet above sea level, over 4,000 feet above the league’s second-tallest park (Arizona’s Chase Field at 1,086 is second, for reference). In other words: the rarefied air makes baseball travel further.
Even with the use of a humidifier (a temperature and humidity controlled device in which baseballs are stored to help cushion the ball and regulate conditions), Coors Field again this year has a home run park effect of 110 (10% above average), the highest of any baseball park, according to Statcast.
This has been the case in virtually every season since the effects of the park were tracked, with the lowest number on record at 109 during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.
Major League Baseball announced this week that the humidifier would not be used for the Home Run Derby.
So what does this mean for this accessory? Well, the end is at hand.
The longest home run in Coors Field history was reached at 504 feet by Giancarlo Stanton in 2016. The Statcast record in a humidifier-less environment was 513 feet by Aaron Judge at Marlins Park in 2017.
This year’s competitors will really have to take things to another level to get there, as Shohei Ohtani has the longest home run of 2021 of all of this year’s participants at 470 feet.
Speaking of long home runs, you can also bet on which player will hit the longest of the night. Here are those odds, along with each participant’s longest home run of the season:
|Player||Longest HR odds||Longest FC 2021 (in feet)|
Domination and League
But wait, there is more.
You can also bet on the daring of the winner and the league that player comes from.
At DraftKings, you can bet a right-handed hitter to win at +120, and a left-handed hitter to win at -155. A winning American League hitter is -195, while a winning National League hitter is +150.
Here is the distribution of the field sorted by laterality and by league:
|Player||LH / RH||League|
Finally, there is the always risky and enticing gamble of the “exact result”.
Ohtani and Gallo are the two favorites, what if you thought Ohtani is going to beat Gallo in the final? You can get it at +1070. Maybe you like your hometown hero Story to beat the defending champion, Alonso? It’s +2690. If there is an outcome you like, you can bet it.
But it’s important to keep support in mind. The Home Run Derby transitioned to a bracket style format in 2015, and hitters are now ranked based on the number of home runs they’ve hit this season at the time the pitch was set.
Here is the range for this year:
Where to bet
Most of the above odds are from DraftKings, where you can legally bet in Colorado, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.
BetRivers also offers Home Run Derby accessories for bettors in Colorado, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. It has the length and league accessories available.
BetMGM offers the league winner accessory in addition to outright winner odds, and books such as FanDuel, PointsBet, SportsBetting.com and more, all offer absolute winning odds, so be sure to shop around for the best odds ahead of Monday night’s event.
Thanks to Samantha Previte from The Action Network for her research help.