2023 MLB Home Run Derby Pick: Mookie Betts
Vaughn Dalzell breaks down why he’s backing Mookie Betts in the midst of career-year to win the Home Run Derby.
Home Run Derby Winner: Mookie Betts (+1500)
Over the last 15 games, Mookie Betts has hit nine home runs (18 RBIs), including two multi-homer outings.
In his past two games, Betts knocked in three homers (5 RBIs) versus the Angels, so he is swinging hot entering this derby.
Last season, Betts posted 35 homers in 142 games, which was a career-high in dingers. This year through 86 games, Betts has 26 homers! That’s the type of guy that can win the Home Run Derby.
The first-round matchup with Vladimir Guerro Jr. along with the historical data behind players with Mookie’s height certainly doesn’t help Betts’ case on paper, but I think the Dodgers’ star is in for a big night.
Guerro Jr. has 13 homers on the year compared to Betts’ 26. In July, Guerro has one homer in to Betts’ four and if you go all the way back to the start of June, Guerro has four homers, so Vlad really isn’t having success going deep (at least compared to Mookie).
If Mookie beats Vlad, the second round matchup will be tough. Pete Alonso or Julio Rodriguez would be waiting and both guys bring power and more experience to this event.
The Derby is in Seattle, so J-Rod will have a boost, but faces the favorite in Alonso, which is pretty unfair if you ask me. Additionally, Rodriguez and Alonso could tire themselves out in that first round matchup, which benefits Betts to make the Derby Title match.
If Mookie wins, make sure to tweet and thank his wife who urged him to do the event.
When asked about participating and the conversation, Betts said this to MLB.com , “It’s the last thing I haven’t done,” Betts said. “My wife kind of compared it to [NBA superstar LeBron James] not doing the dunk contest. And that’s not a knock or anything, but she just feels like for what I’m trying to do in baseball, bring awareness to Black culture, I should probably be more involved.”
Betts is swinging the bat hot right and at +1500 to win the Derby and +205 to beat Vlad in the first round, I will grab a slice of both.
My secondary pick or picks on the other side of the bracket would be split between Randy Arozarena (+950) and Adolis Garcia (+7000).
Yoenis Céspedes was the last player to win the Derby under 6-feet-tall and that was back in 2014. Do it for us short kings, Mookie.
Pick: Mookie Betts to win Derby (0.25u), Mookie Betts to beat Vlad (0.5u)
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