Tips for Betting on the MLB Home Run Derby

Do you look forward to the MLB Home Run Derby every year?

I’m a big fan of the derby and it has been exciting in recent years. Millions get wagered on the derby with online sportsbooks every season and it’s a fun market to have some action on.

If you’re going to watch the derby, you might as well have a bet on the event.

Obviously, you shouldn’t bet your entire bankroll on the derby, but it’s exciting to have action on your favorite player. The potential payouts are also enticing, as you’re getting plus money.

What Can We Learn from Recent MLB Home Run Derby Results?

The first thing I want to take a look at are recent MLB  home run derby results.

2019 – Pete Alonso +400 (Priced 3rd in Market)

2018 – Bryce Harper +275 (Favored to Win)

2017 – Aaron Judge +180 (Co-Favorite to Win)

2016 – Giancarlo Stanton +280 (Favored to Win)

2015 – Todd Frazier +400 (Priced 2nd in Market)

So, what can we learn from the past five home run derbies to help us make MLB baseball picks?

The biggest takeaway is that you should avoid the bigger longshots. Every year there are always a few guys with enticing prices, but based on past results, the underdogs don’t win.

Two favorites and a co-favorite have cashed in the last five years. If you blindly bet on the top priced player to win the MLB home run derby each year, you would have made a healthy profit.

You don’t want to overthink things when handicapping the home run derby. There are often only 3-4 players with a realistic shot to win. Don’t get sucked into betting on a higher priced long shot.

Park Factors

The park needs to play a big factor when you handicap the MLB Home Run Derby.

First off, how difficult is it to hit a home run at the park? Home runs come easy at some parks, while others require you to really get a hold of the baseball. Secondly, does the park favor righties or lefties? Lastly, I like to look at player home run splits at the park where the derby is taking place.

Batter Form

You should study each batters form heading into the MLB home run derby.

Typically, the top home run hitters are competing every year, but what you want to look for is how each player is playing in the last two weeks heading into the all-star break.

Is a player starting to heat up and hitting bombs heading into the break or did the player pick up the majority of his home runs early in the season? You can check out how a player is doing by visiting who have statistics for every player/team in the league.


Should you target players with previous home run derby experience?

In the last five years, three winners (Harper, Stanton and Frazier) have had prior experience in the derby, while two winners (Alonso and Judge) won in their first attempt.

To conclude, if you’re going to bet on the derby, focus on the top dogs. In the last five years, every single winner was priced in the top three in the market. While some of the 7/1 or 8/1 long shots are enticing because of the potential payout, they rarely end up winning the derby.