The Home Run Derby participants have been selected, and now they’ve been seeded giving us a glimpse at the first-round matchups and late-round possibilities that help drive the event’s intrigue.
In that regard, the most notable revelation is that a dream championship round battle between Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge is a real possibility as they’ve been deemed the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds respectively.
Both combatants will have some work to do to make that final a reality. Stanton will battle the No. 8 seed Gary Sanchez in the opening round. Sanchez, of course, is Judge’s Yankees’ teammate and has a little extra motivation after Logan Morrison of the Rays took issue with his selection.
Judge will take on No. 7 seed Justin Bour, who happens to be Stanton’s teammate and will no doubt want to show well in front of his home fans in Miami. Stanton and Judge will be the heavy favorites in those matchups, but there’s certainly an interesting dynamic to both.
Here’s a look at the full bracket as released by MLB on Wednesday.
No. 3 Cody Bellinger vs. No. 6 Charlie Blackmon and No. 4 Mike Moustakas vs. No. 5 Miguel Sano round out the first round.
Based on that, we might suggest Stanton’s path looks slightly tougher with Moustakas or Sano looming in the second round. If Cody Bellinger performs as well as expected though, he’ll be a tough out too.
Basically what we’re saying is that there’s going to be pressure on Stanton and Judge to mash a lot of home runs if the dream championship round is going to happen. And even if it doesn’t happen, there’s still enough firepower here to provide a memorable event.
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