Ah, the Home Run Derby. Annually among the most enjoyable sideshow events in the sporting world. And this year’s installment figures to be among the best in recent memory.
Major League Baseball unveiled the Home Run Derby bracket, which has the potential to be a special kind of fun at Marlins Park:
Get ready for some POWER. pic.twitter.com/RQJ64bX70w
— MLB (@MLB) July 5, 2017
Giancarlo Stanton received the top overall seed and will get to swing with a home-field advantage at Marlins Park against Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez. Justin Bour also gets to hit in the friendly confines of home. He is the seventh seed on the other side of the bracket. An all-Marlins final could be in the offing, but Bour will have to beat Aaron Judge – who broke the home run exit velocity record in April, and hit the hardest and longest homer in June. Just make sure Melky Cabrera isn’t patrolling left field when Judge steps to the dish.
The other first-round matchup in the Judge/Bour regional is a matchup of a pair of National League West sluggers, pitting Dodgers rookie sensation Cody Bellinger against Rockies slugging lead-off man Charlie Blackmon. Bellinger leads the NL with 24 home runs and a .620 slugging percentage, while Blackmon leads the league in hits. This matchup should end with all the fans in the right field stands going home with gopher balls.
On the other side of the bracket, an AL Central showdown looms between Mike Moustakas of the Royals and Miguel Sano of the Twins. After years of being a solid line drive hitter, Moustakas has found the power stroke to the tune of a career-best 24 home runs in just 75 games. Sano is in the midst of setting career bests in batting average, slugging percentage and OPS, while also being just five home runs from matching what he did during the 2016 season.
If you’re looking for a sleeper, it’s probably going to come out of the Sano/Moustakas matchup.
However this thing goes, it figures to be a blast.
… see what I did there?