The baseball world has converged on Denver, Colorado, for the 2021 MLB All-Star Game festivities. The party started Sunday night with the first round of the 2021 MLB Draft, which runs through Tuesday. Monday night features the Home Run Derby with the All-Star Game set for Tuesday night.
Ohtani the Favorite in Home Run Derby
Ohtani is +225 to win the derby, and he will face No. 8 seed Juan Soto in the first round. Soto is +1000 to win on Monday as he enters tied for the least amount of homers (11) among the competitors.
The second-best odds are with Joey Gallo at +400. The Texas Rangers slugger has 24 home runs on the season and will face No. 7 seed Trevor Story (+1000) in the first round. The hometown favorite, Story has 11 homers on the season and will try to join Bryce Harper and Todd Frazier as recent sluggers to win the derby at home.
Matt Olson ended the first half with two homers on Sunday and has 23 on the season. The No. 3 seed is +700 to win on Monday, and he faces No. 6 Trey Mancini (+1200). Mancini is the sentimental favorite coming back from Stage 3 colon cancer, and he has 16 home runs so far in 2021.
Salvador Perez is the No. 4 seed but has the worst odds in the derby at +1300. The Royals catcher has 21 homers on the season, and no catcher has ever won the derby. He will face No 5. Pete Alonso (+550), the defending champion in the first round.
Ohtani and Alonso could face off in the semifinals. Alonso beat Rnald Acuna Jr. and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. en route to the 2019 title and can join Ken Griffey Jr. and Yoenis Cespedes as the only repeat winners.
Ohtani is +140 to make the final, and Gallo is +170 to reach the final round. Gallo has the longest over/under for distance at 504.5 feet, with Ohtani’s at 499.5.
Ohtani, Scherzer to Start All-Star Game
Ohtani (4-1, 3.49) will officially pull double duty on Tuesday as he starts the game on the mound for the American League and leads off as the designated hitter. The DH rule has been changed, so the AL will keep the DH even after Ohtani exits the game on the mound. In a normal game, the team loses the DH once that player takes the field defensively, including as pitcher.
Yankees slugger Aaron Judge will bat cleanup for the AL, sandwiched between Boston Red Sox teammates Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers. Guerrero Jr. will bat second behind Ohtani.
With Jacob deGrom sitting out the All-Star Game, National League skipper David Roberts elected to hand the ball to Max Scherzer. The Nationals ace will be starting his fourth All-Star Game with a 7-4 record and a 2.66 ERA. He started the 2013, 2017, and 2018 games and will be the sixth pitcher to start four games.
Fernando Tatis Jr. will bat lead off for the NL, with Nolan Arenado making his return to Colorado in the three spot. Reigning MVP Freddie Freeman bats cleanup in front of Reds outfielders Nick Castellanos and Jesse Winker. Roberts gave Max Muncy the nod as the DH, batting second.
The National League is favored Tuesday night at -115, while the AL is -105. The total runs is 10.5, with the under at -105 and the over at -115.