We are less than a week away until the best of the best put on a show in Marlins Park in Miami. Next Monday, July 10th, eight of MLB’s top home run hitters will take to the field for the annual Home Run Derby. Last year introduced a new bracketed format, and it brought some life back to the event. As exciting as the MLB All-Star Game is, this baseball fan is just as excited for the longballs the night before.
Thanks to the bracketed format, fans are eagerly awaiting this year’s Derby. The eight participants have already been announced. However, the bracket has not. So fans are left wondering, what will this year’s matchups look like? Will their favorite two home run hitters have to square off in the first round?
Well, that’s what we are here for! Let’s dig a little deeper and try to predict what the 2017 MLB Home Run Derby bracket will look like.
For starters, let’s take a look at this year’s participants, and how many home runs they each have on this 2017 season.
Aaron Judge, outfielder, New York Yankees – 28
Gary Sanchez, catcher, New York Yankees – 13
Giancarlo Stanton, outfielder, Miami Marlins – 21
Justin Bour, first baseman, Miami Marlins – 18
Charlie Blackmon, outfielder, Colorado Rockies – 18
Mike Moustakas, third baseman, Kansas City Royals – 23
Miguel Sano, third baseman, Minnesota Twins – 20
Cody Bellinger, first baseman, Los Angeles Dodgers – 24
Now, it is safe to guess MLB won’t simply run down the list and seed them based on home run totals. This is because there are two sets of teammates and a dream finals matchup in this field.
So for starters, it would make sense to place the two sets of teammates on opposite sides of the bracket. Based on home run totals, Judge and Sanchez would face off in the 1-8 matchup to open things. While that could be fun, it would be more fun to see those two fight their way to face one another in the finals.
The same can be said for Stanton and Bour. Both players are going to be playing in front of their home crowd. If the two square off, the crowd will be forced to choose between two of their own players. Stanton would clearly win out, which would simply be a downer for Bour. So if the two are gonna go at it, let it be in the finals where you can build up to it.
Speaking of the finals, almost everyone wants to see Aaron Judge, this year’s home run leader, take on the hometown favorite, Giancarlo Stanton, last year’s Home Run Derby champ. As a result, those two need to be placed on opposite sides of the bracket as well.
With all that said, Judge has to be the lock for the one seed. That likely makes Sanchez either the six or the seven. Stanton, like Todd Frazier a year ago (the reigning champ at the time), should be getting the two seed. So poor Justin Bour is likely looking at the eight seed.
As for the rest of the field, Bellinger is the other hot name. He likely ends up as the three seed, despite his rookie status. From there, Moustakas, Sano and Blackmon could fall in any order. So here is my predicted bracket for next weeks MLB Home Run Derby!
(1) Aaron Judge vs (8) Justin Bour
(4) Mike Moustakas vs (5) Miguel Sano
(2) Giancarlo Stanton vs (8) Charlie Blackmon
(3) Cody Bellinger vs (7) Gary Sanchez
So there you have it baseball fans! How do you think the bracket will shake out? Tell us what you think in the comments!