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Long live the king. Long live the new king.
The Home Run Derby is often the appetizer that brings paying customers into the All-Star festivities. Normally an entertaining event that delivers plenty of “oohs” and “ahhs” from the fans, this year’s Derby may have the feel of a heavyweight championship contest between two elite fighters.
Aaron Judge will be in this year’s Home Run Derby.
And that’s a good thing because he can do this: https://t.co/JXpLWvCQpP
If defending champion Giancarlo Stanton wins his half of the draw and slugging rookie Aaron Judge does the same on his, the event will have the matchup baseball fans want to see.
Those two will be joined by Cody Bellinger, Mike Moustakas, Miguel Sano, Charlie Blackmon, Justin Bour and Gary Sanchez in the Derby.
Stanton will take on Sanchez in the first round, while Judge’s first opponent will be Bour. Bellinger will face on Blackmon and Moustakas will battle Sano.
The players will battle in single-elimination format, with the first-round winners moving on to the semifinal and those winners moving onto the title round.
The Home Run Derby will held Monday at 8 p.m. ET at Marlins Park. It will be televised by ESPN.
Each player will have four minutes to hit as many home runs as he can, and players can earn bonus time depending on the distance of those home runs. Players who hit two home runs of 440 feet or more get 30 extra seconds to continue their onslaught.
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This is the format that has been used since 2015. Originally, players were supposed to have five minutes per round to swing the bat, but the weather forecast for that Home Run Derby in Cincinnati meant the rounds were shortened to four minutes.
The impact of that decision probably kept the players fresher, so the decision was made to keep the swing time to four minutes.
The constant rapid fire of home run swings on the baseball often leaves players exhausted by the pursuit. They get to call timeout and regather their strength for 45 seconds at any point during the first two rounds. Players who make it to the championship round receive two timeouts, with one lasting 45 seconds and the other lasting 30 seconds.
If any round is tied, those players engage in a 60-second swing-off. The player with the most home runs in that period wins. If the players are tied after the swing-off, each player will get three swings until the tie is broken.
Home Run Derby at a Glance
Player, Team, Skinny, Odds
Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins: Defending champion who blasted 61 homers in last year’s Derby. Plus-165.
Aaron Judge, New York Yankees: Bronx Bomber slugger who already owns team record for home runs by a rookie. Plus-175.
Cody Bellinger, Los Angeles Dodgers: Slugging NL rookie has helped propel Dodgers with 24 home runs. Plus-900.
Mike Moustakas, Kansas City Royals: Has already topped his career-high total with 25 home runs this year. Plus-1,400.
Miguel Sano, Minnesota Twins: Nobody in this contest swings harder than Sano, who has 20 home runs. Plus-1,000.
Charlie Blackmon, Colorado Rockies: Has hit 18 home runs while hitting from the leadoff spot. Plus-2,000.
Justin Bour, Miami Marlins: The dark horse in this tournament, one who has hit 18 home runs. Plus-1,400.
Gary Sanchez, New York Yankees: Blasted his way into the consciousness of baseball fans with his HR explosion in 2016. Plus-1,400.
Odds according to OddsShark.