The annual Home Run Derby takes place at Chase Field on Monday night, and the league leader in home runs is the oddsmakers' favorite to claim the derby crown.
The Blue Jays' Jose Bautista started the season on a torrid home run pace, went through a swoon in June, but has started knocking balls over the fence again over the past two weeks. With the lead in home runs heading into the break, Bautista is pegged as the 3/1 favorite at to come out on top on Monday.
Bautista will have to contend with a pair of past derby winners on Monday night – AL teammate and Red Sox DH David Ortiz, and Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder. Ortiz was the derby champion last season with 32 long balls, and he's at 9/2 odds for Monday night. Fielder won the derby in 2009 with 23 home runs, and he's the second-favorite to Bautista at at 7/2 odds to win.
The other two AL sluggers on the league's roster for the Home Run Derby are Adrian Gonzalez (6/1) of the Red Sox and Robinson Cano (15/2) of the Yankees. Gonzalez competed in this event for the National League in 2009, hitting just two home runs and getting eliminated in the first round. Cano will be participating in the event for the first time.
For the Senior Circuit the other three participants on Monday night will be Matt Holliday (9/2) of the Cardinals, Matt Kemp (15/2) of the Dodgers, and Rickie Weeks (12/1) of the Brewers. Kemp and Weeks are both first-time participants in the Home Run Derby, while Holliday finished third in the event in 2007 (13 home runs) and fifth in 2010 (five home runs).
Tuesday night's All-Star Game will decide home-field advantage in the World Series, which the National League claimed in this manner for the first time last season by beating their AL counterparts 3-1 in Anaheim. Prior to last year, the NL hadn't come out on top in an All-Star Game since a 6-0 win at Philly's Veterans Stadium back in 1996.
Watch for the latest MLB All-Star Game odds and props at , and keep your eye on the news wire for the latest roster moves. Starters Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez will both be skipping the game for the AL, along with reliever Mariano Rivera. Starters Jose Reyes, Placido Polanco, and Ryan Braun won't be in the lineup for the NL, while Chipper Jones and Shane Victorino will be sitting out with injuries on Tuesday night as well.
State Farm Home Run Derby - Odds to Win
Jose Bautista 3/1
Prince Fielder 7/2
David Ortiz 9/2
Matt Holliday 9/2
Adrian Gonzalez 6/1
Matt Kemp 15/2
Robinson Cano 15/2
Rickie Weeks 12/1