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The overwhelming favorite to win American League MVP is also the favorite to win the Home Run Derby.
Los Angeles Angels pitcher/designated hitter Shohei Ohtani is making his first appearance in the derby on Monday and he’s BetMGM’s betting favorite at +325.
It’s no surprise that Ohtani leads the field. He leads Major League Baseball with 32 home runs and is the only player in the league with more than 30. He’s also got nine more homers than anyone else in the derby. The Texas Rangers’ Joey Gallo is second to Ohtani among derby participants with 23 homers. He’s the No. 2 favorite at +450.
The field gets crowded after Gallo. The New York Mets’ Pete Alonso is the No. 3 favorite at +500 and then four other players have odds of less than +1000. Only Baltimore’s Trey Mancini has odds above +1000 and he’s only at +1100.
Here’s a full look at the odds for the Home Run Derby field. The derby is at Coors Field, site of the relocated 2021 All-Star Game.
Shohei Ohtani (+325)
Joey Gallo (+450)
Pete Alonso (+500)
Matt Olson (+650)
Trevor Story (+700)
Salvador Perez (+800)
Juan Soto (+900)
Trey Mancini (+1100)
The odds for the derby were released after the bracket was unveiled on Wednesday. Ohtani is the top seed and will face the Nationals’ Juan Soto in the first round. Gallo takes on the Rockies’ Trevor Story, while Matt Olson faces Mancini and Alonso faces Salvador Perez.
The winner of the Alonso-Perez matchup feels like good value to win the derby, though the victor could end up facing Ohtani in the second round unless Soto pulls the upset. On the other side of the bracket, we like Olson to beat Mancini and Gallo to beat Story.
Gallo is our pick to win the entire derby, and we wouldn’t be surprised if he faced Perez in the final. Yes, that would mean Ohtani wouldn’t make it past the second round in that scenario. It’s hard to pick against him.
A Wimbledon weekend
It’s a weekend full of tennis at Wimbledon with the men’s semifinals on Friday and then the women’s final on Saturday and the men’s final on Saturday.
Novak Djokovic is a huge favorite to win his semifinal over Denis Shapovalov. And “huge” may not do it justice. Djokovic is -1100 to advance to the final, while Shapovalov is a remarkable +700 underdog.
The other semifinal is a little more even. Matteo Berrettini is a -200 favorite to beat Hubert Hurkacz, the man who knocked out Roger Federer. Hurkacz is +175 to advance to the final and likely play Djokovic in his attempt to take out another tennis legend.
A Djokovic win will tie him with Rafael Nadal and Federer at 20 major wins. It’ll also be his third major win of the year. If Djokovic wins at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, he’ll become the winningest man in major tennis tournament history and the first man to win all four majors in the same year since Rod Laver in 1969.
On the women’s side, Ashleigh Barty is the favorite over Karolina Pliskova in the final on Saturday. Barty is a -250 favorite to win the match and get her second major. Barty’s first major came in 2019, when she won the French Open.
We like Barty and Djokovic to win, though that's not much of a limb we're sitting on. Sometimes you just have to roll with the favorites.
Can Kyle Busch get two wins at Atlanta?
Kyle Busch is racing in both the Cup Series race and Xfinity Series race at Atlanta this weekend and he’s got pretty good odds to get two NASCAR wins in the same weekend.
Busch is the overwhelming favorite for Saturday’s Xfinity Series race. He’s -150 to win the race while No. 2 favorite Justin Allgaier is at +600. Negative odds feel only reserved for Busch in NASCAR’s lower series because he’s so good when he races in either Xfinity or the Truck Series.
Busch is the No. 2 favorite to win the Cup Series race on Sunday at +750. That’s far behind Kyle Larson at +225, but a Busch win isn’t a long shot by any means. Larson is the winningest driver in the Cup Series this season with four wins and dominated at Atlanta earlier in the year before he was passed for the lead late in the race.
Who cashed tickets on Thursday?
If you followed our advice and took the Cleveland Indians -1.5 runs at +140 you’re a happy bettor. Cleveland got a walk-off home run from Franmil Reyes in the ninth inning for a 7-4 win after the teams were tied 4-4 in the bottom of the ninth.
Bettors who had the Suns -5.5 were happy with Phoenix's 10-point win over the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 2 of the NBA Finals. The under missed out late (219.5) as the game had a combined 226 points. The series shifts to Milwaukee for Game 3 on Sunday as the Bucks hope to get back into it. This is the third consecutive 2-0 series lead Phoenix has earned.
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