Bragging rights and a million-dollar prize are on the line in Monday's 2022 MLB Home Run Derby, but Pete Alonso is looking to make history at Dodger Stadium. The New York Mets first baseman has won the past two power-hitting displays leading into the MLB All-Star Game, and he could be the first to win three in a row. Ken Griffey Jr. (1994, 1998, 1999) is the only player to win the Home Run Derby three times. Alonso will face outfielder Ronald Acuna of the NL East-rival Atlanta Braves in the first round. Another NL East first baseman, Kyle Schwarber, of the Philadelphia Phillies, is the No. 1 seed and will face 42-year-old Albert Pujols, an honorary All-Star in his final season with the St. Louis Cardinals. The other first-round matchups will pit the Texas Rangers' Corey Seager against Seattle Mariners rookie Julio Rodriguez and the Cleveland Guardians' Jose Ramirez against Juan Soto of the Washington Nationals.
The 2022 Home Run Derby will begin at 8 p.m. ET. Caesars Sportsbook lists Alonso as the +190 favorite (risk $100 to win $190) in its latest 2022 MLB Home Run Derby odds, with Schwarber right behind at +330. Soto (+600), Rodriguez (+700) and Acuna (+750) also are top contenders, followed by Seager (+1000), Ramirez (+1800) and Pujols (+2400). Before locking in any 2022 MLB All-Star Home Run Derby picks or predictions, you need to see what SportsLine baseball expert John Bollman has to say.
Bollman is on a tremendous run picking baseball games for SportsLine. He is 197-170 with his last 367 MLB picks after he went 380-309-1 in 2021. He returned $3,855 for $100 bettors last season and finished as SportsLine's No. 1 baseball expert.
It's no surprise: In 2018 Bollman, who has a master's degree in biostatistics, worked in the Toronto Blue Jays' analytics department, focusing on high-performance sports science and player development. He combines that MLB front-office experience with a deep statistical background to deliver incredible success on MLB picks.
Now, he has studied the latest 2022 Home Run Derby odds and locked in his picks. Head to SportsLine now to see them.
2022 Home Run Derby expert preview
One player Bollman is shying away from on Monday night is Acuna, who has experience in the event but also faces a huge opening test. The 24-year-old has looked uncomfortable at the plate after getting off to a pretty strong start upon his late-April return from ACL surgery. Acuna had eight home runs in 56 games entering the weekend, and he had hit one in his past 18 contests. Coming in as the seventh seed means he will face two-time reigning champ Alonso in the first round.
Acuna battled to the end with Alonso in the second round of the 2019 Home Run Derby, but the Mets star is much more experienced now. Acuna hit 25 home runs in the first round that year then tailed off to 18 in the second. Alonso beat him on a buzzer-beating shot and went on to win his first title. The New York first baseman has 24 home runs this season and holds records for most homers in the first round (35 in 2021) and most career homers (131) in the Home Run Derby.
On the other hand, there are both young stars and experienced sluggers who could make a charge. Schwarber has made one Home Run Derby appearance, but he reached the final in that 2018 event, losing to Bryce Harper. Pujols is appearing in his fifth Home Run Derby, and the slower pace could play into the hands of MLB's oldest player. The future Hall of Famer has eight home runs this year and is fifth all-time in MLB with 684.
Soto put on a show last year, blasting a Derby-record 520-foot homer and knocking off No. 1 seed Shohei Ohtani in the first round before losing to Alonso in the second. Seager was in the Derby as a rookie in 2016 and has 126 career home runs in 722 games – one every 21.9 at-bats. He played six seasons with the Dodgers, so he could get some backing from the fans. Rodriguez has 16 homers as a rookie, and Ramirez has 17 and a .925 OPS (sixth in MLB). See his other Home Run Derby picks at SportsLine.
How to make 2022 Home Run Derby picks
Bollman is staying away from Acuna because of the tough road he faces, but the expert has two other confident best bets. One is a strong play on the winner, and he also predicts the final matchup, a wager that would net a significant payout. You can only get these selections at SportsLine.
So who wins the MLB Home Run Derby 2022? And which player will the winner square off against in the final? Visit SportsLine to see John Bollman's top 2022 Home Run Derby picks, all from the expert who has crushed his MLB picks over the past two seasons, and find out.
2022 MLB Home Run Derby odds, participants
Pete Alonso +190
Kyle Schwarber +330
Juan Soto +600
Julio Rodriguez +700
Ronalda Acuna Jr. +750
Corey Seager +1000
Jose Ramirez +1800
Albert Pujols +2400