Monday, July 12, 2021

Predicting the Home Run Derby [Badly]

 I still have a soft spot for the Home Run Derby. It has morphed from the friendly, Chris Berman-led cacophony of 'BAAAAECK BAAAAECK' etc to a very NBA-esque personality display with the best of the best. This is the closest we get to the panache and flair of the NBA All Star Game, and while we don't exactly get a trap beat and wild lighting, there has been some definite tonal shifting in the last 10 or so years. Which is fine, I like that. But it's less homey. It's a little homey now, but not as much as it was in the mid-2000s.

So what I'm gonna do is try to predict how these brackets are going to go. Knowing, of course, that I'm famously bad at predicting things. But hey, this could be fun, and I kinda wanna do something for the Derby anyway. So here goes:

Shohei Ohtani v. Juan Soto
Who Should Win: Ohtani, because he's having an incredible year and not even Childish Bambino can stop him.
Who Will Win: Ohtani, though Soto will likely go a lot further than we think in his 10. 

Salvador Perez v. Pete Alonso
Who Should Win: Perez has amassed more homers this season, hence his higher seed.
Who Will Win: Alonso, as he's the more traditional home run hitter, and he's famously gotten further in the Derby than Salvy. 

Joey Gallo v. Trevor Story
Who Should Win: Gallo has the higher seed, has crept into the Top 5 Home Run standings, and has the momentum.
Who Will Win: The factor we have to remember is that Story has the homefield advantage, and has the crowd on his side. So I think he'll go on a tear that not even Gallo will be able to stop.

Matt Olson v. Trey Mancini
Who Should Win: Mancini winning would be the bigger story, considering his cancer comeback and the fact that people will be watching.
Who Will Win: Mancini. Yeah, I'm predicting another bracket upset. Olson is gonna hit a great deal. I just see Mancini latching onto some serious momentum. 

Round Two: Ohtani v. Alonso
Who Should Win: Ohtani, because come on
Who Will Win: Again, I do think Ohtani is gonna win the bracket, even if these two are gonna go on for a bit. I know that eventually Ohtani is eventually going to have to disappoint some people, but not here, even if Alonso will try to replicate his former glory. 

Mancini v. Story
Who Should Win: Mancini, as he's slotted higher, and has the bigger story
Who Will Win: Ironically, the bigger Story will win. Mancini's gonna have an unlucky round and Story's gonna squeak into the finals dramatically. The crowd will be going nuts.

Final Round: Ohtani v. Story
Who Should Win: Ohtani. He's the biggest dog in this race, and everyone's gonna be expecting him to take this all the way.
Who Will Win: Trevor Story is gonna go absolutely batshit in this final round, and become the umpteenth home field Home Run Derby winner, and have one last moment of glory before his inevitable trade at the end of the month. 

So yeah, this is what I think is about to happen. I may be very wrong, I probably will be, but this is the coolest outcome for me. 

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