Pitcher Shohei Ohtani is the odds on favorite to win this year’s Homerun Derby at +250.
Ohtani leads the majors with 32 home runs on the season while also starting 13 games as a pitcher.
Last year’s winner Pete Alonso and Joey Gallo are second in the BetOnline odddsboard at +500.
Who would’ve imagined that the best MLB betting sites would’ve placed a pitcher as the betting favorite to win MLB’s Homerun Derby?
A pitcher is favored to win the Home Run Derby
Shohei Ohtani +250
Joey Gallo +500
Pete Alonso +500
Matt Olson +600
Trevor Story +700
Salvador Perez +750
Juan Soto +850
Trey Mancini +900 pic.twitter.com/Ixgi8VrLsY
— BetOnline.ag (@betonline_ag) July 8, 2021
To answer that question, let us pose another one: Who expected to see an MLB player voted by the fans to be a designated hitter in the All-Star game and later selected by the players and coaches to be one of the starting pitchers in the same game?
Let’s cut the story short. 2021 is the Year of the Ohtani, Shohei Ohtani that is.
Ohtani makes history again. pic.twitter.com/xA4jPjTF1T
— MLB (@MLB) July 4, 2021
The Los Angeles Angels’ two-way superstar has become a two-way phenomenon, accomplishing things that not only no other player has ever done, but accomplishments that no one thought would be possible. Now, he’s also become baseball’s first two-way All-Star.
As of Thursday, Ohtani leads the Majors with 32 home runs and is on pace to shatter the Angels’ mark of 47 in a season. He has also a chance at hitting 60 homers after slugging 13 homers in June and already four this month. But that’s not it.
Ohtani has also started 13 games as a pitcher and has pitched in a total of 67.0 innings with a record of 4-1 plus an ERA of 3.89 and a WHIP of 1.26. No other player in the history of baseball has pitched like he has while hitting the way he has. Not even the legendary Babe Ruth.
No.1 Seed in Home Run Derby
Ohtani No. 1 seed in MLB’s HR Derby bracket https://t.co/KZJnkcep9v #TexasRangers pic.twitter.com/78sZLtXRmH
— ESPNDallas (@ESPNDallas) July 8, 2021
The 8-man Home Run Derby field was officially announced on Wednesday night and by virtue of his league-leading 32 homers, Ohtani will be the number 1 seed in the Home Run Derby. That means he will face off against no. 8 Juan Soto in the opening round.
A possible match-up against last year’s winner and no. 5 seed Pete Alonso could happen in the next round. Alonso is set to take on no. 4 Salvador Perez in first round action. In the other bracket, no. 2 Joey Gallo takes on no. 7 Trevor Story while no. 3 Matt Olson faces no. 6 Trey Mancini.
Gallo and Alonso are tied for second place in the current oddsboard at +500. Gallo has connected on 23 home runs this season and has been hot as of late, hitting 10 total homers in his last 10 games. Meanwhile, last year’s Derby Winner Alonso has not been able to match his home run rate from last season but he ranks 11th in average exit velocity which should come in handy at home run-friendly Coors Field.