Julio Rodriguez Home Run Derby Best Bet | Odds, Expert MLB Pick

Julio Rodriguez Home Run Derby Best Bet | Odds, Expert MLB Pick article feature image

Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images. Pictured: Julio Rodriguez.

The 2023 MLB Home Run Derby takes place Monday night from T-Mobile Park in Seattle. The event will be broadcast on ESPN and begins at 8 p.m. ET.

There are a number of ways to bet the Home Run Derby, including outright winner, totals props, matchups and more. As a showcase event, it's one of the most popular MLB markets to bet during the long summer months.

Sean Zerillo, Action Network senior writer and the engine that runs our daily projections, breaks down his favorite betting pick for the 2023 MLB Home Run Derby below.

Ready to place your bets? Head over to FanDuel Sportsbook for the best markets on MLB and all of the day's games and events across the world of sports!

MLB Home Run Derby Best Bet

Julio Rodriguez Over Pete Alonso in Round 1 (+118)

Odds via FanDuel

Sean Zerillo: Among Home Run Derby performances in my lifetime, Mark McGwire (1999), Josh Hamilton (2008), and Julio Rodriguez (2022) have the top three performances that stuck with me through the years. Yet, none of those three players won those respective competitions.

Rodriguez launched 81 home runs last season, the second-most ever in a Home Run Derby. Unfortunately, he'll likely have to get past the players who rank first (Vlad Guerrero Jr., 91 in 2019) and third (Pete Alonso, 74 in 2021) to make the finals again.

Aside from home-field advantage, there are reasons to prefer Rodriguez in his first-round matchup against the two-time Derby champion, Alonso.

Rodriguez ranks second in the field with a 115.5 mph max exit velocity, while Alonso (113.7 mph) ranks fourth. Additionally, although Alonso has a higher barrel rate, Rodriguez has a much higher average exit velocity (93rd vs. 49th percentile) and hard-hit rate (92nd vs. 52nd percentile).

Additionally, Alonso has struggled offensively since returning from a wrist injury in June, posting a .153/.265/.361 triple slash line across 83 plate appearances (78 wRC+), and I question whether he's fully healthy.

Bet Rodriguez to upset the contest favorite in the first round, and consider betting him outright (+550 at DraftKings) or to beat either Adolis Garcia (+2000) or Randy Arozarena (+3000) in an exact result prop.

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