ESPN’s two-hour time-slot for Monday night’s 2017 MLB Home Run Derby may not be enough.
Not only will Aaron Judge and Cody Bellinger–who have been dismantling opposing pitching at historic rates this year–take part in the annual exhibition, but Giancarlo Stanton is back after last year’s memorable performance. If that trio mashes like they’re capable, this thing may not end.
The derby can sometimes get monotonous, but the combination of raw power and youth should make this one a lot of fun. Here’s everything you need to know:
Date: Monday, July 10, 2017
Start Time: 8 p.m. ET
TV Channel: ESPN or ESPN 2
Participants & Odds
Giancarlo Stanton: +165
Aaron Judge: +175
Cody Bellinger: +900
Miguel Sano: +1000
Mike Moustakas: +1400
Gary Sanchez: +1400
Justin Bour: +1400
Charlie Blackmon: +2000
Stanton “only” has 24 home runs on the year, which is tied for sixth in the majors, but he stands as the oddsmakers’ favorite due to his experience in this event. This will be his third time competing in the derby, and as many will remember, he put on an absolute show in 2016, hitting 24 in the first round, 17 in the semifinals and another 20 in the finals to earn the crown. And many of those 61 bombs were of the moonshot variety.
But he’ll have plenty of competition in the form of two rookies.
Aaron Judge has been what I imagine it would be like if Godzilla was a baseball player. Not only does he lead the league with 30 home runs, but he has the four fastest exit velocity recordings on the year (and the fastest all-time in the Statcast era) and the longest home run at 495 feet.
Then there’s Bellinger, who wasn’t playing full-time until late April but still has 25 home runs. While Judge hits a homer every 12.2 plate appearances, Bellinger is one every 11.68. In June, he became the fastest player in MLB history to 21 homers.
While most expect one of those three to win on Monday night, Miguel Sano is another interesting option capable of putting on a show, as the Twins third baseman is second in the league behind Judge in average exit velocity.