All-Star Week begins with a bang for Mariners fans—figuratively and literally, as the mid-summer classic opens with Seattle’s young phenom, Julio Rodríguez, not just taking part in his first All-Star Game, but his first Home Run Derby, as well. The event will take place today, Monday, July 18, at Dodger Stadium and will be broadcast live by ESPN starting at 5 PM PT.
As a refresher, here’s what the derby field looks like:
Players were assigned seeds based on the numbers of home runs they’ve hit so far this season. Julio will match up against Corey Seager in the first round. If he can outlast Kyle’s brother, he’ll face either perpetual derby champ Pete Alonso going for a three-Pete, or fellow phenom Ronald Acuña Jr. Not the easiest path to victory, but we know Julio will have fun with it.
Julio is a right-handed hitter while Seager, like his brother, bats lefty, but Dodger Stadium is equal in dimension on both sides, so neither hitter should have an advantage there. The quirk at Dodger Stadium is one of the league’s shallowest center-field fences—just 395 feet compared to T-Mobile’s 410 to dead center, which should be a little vacation for Julio. However, his first-round opponent Corey Seager is a long-term Dodger who has hit at Dodger Stadium for years and knows how the stadium plays for power, so Julio will be at a disadvantage there.
Interestingly, the betting line on DraftKings favors Julio at +800 to win, with Seager a more distant +1000. Alonso, of course, is the heavy favorite, at +200, followed by HR leader and first seed Schwarber at +330. Complete odds can be found here via the DraftKings Sportsbook.
If you want to try your hand at making a bracket, MLB and T-Mobile are running a bracket challenge and if you submit a perfect bracket, you could win cash money! I suggest filling out a bracket anyway because it’s extremely satisfying to click in Julio’s name and have his face pop up.
2022 T-Mobile Home Run Derby Info
Date: Monday, July 18
Time: 5 PM PT
Statcast Broadcast: ESPN2