stats-recaps1

Just like the slam dunk in basketball, the multiple-car wreck in NASCAR and the kick-return touchdown in football, the home run is the most exciting play in its sport.

Many will point to plays which happen less frequently, like stealing home, but that's not for me. Maybe, I'm just a thick-domed doofus, but I'm here for the dingers.



That means Monday's Home Run Derby is one of my favorite days on the baseball calendar - a day when Chris Berman is not just tolerable but unappreciated. Back, back, back? away with your Berman jabs.

Sportsbooks put out odds on the participants in the derby Thursday. Remember, this is the third year MLB has used a bracket with seedings. Here's a quick peek contestants and their odds to win courtesy of bet365.com:



Stanton, of course, is the defending champion and the derby is taking place in his home park in Miami. But that's not the only reason he and Judge are the clear favorites to win the contest.

Remember, this is no longer a competition dealing with "outs". The hitters are up against the clock and bonus time can be earned if a batter hits two or more big flies equal or better than 440 feet. That means it's not just how many you hit but how hard you hit them.

We dug up the numbers to see which batters had the longest average distance on their home runs and looked at the home run rate for each slugger in the derby. Here's what we found:


Numbers accurate heading into Friday's MLB action.

Pick: Aaron Judge

It's not just that Judge leads the bigs in homers and owns the highest HR rate. He's also got the most power of any of the players in this field. He's hit seven homers at or beyond 440 feet this season, including the longest home run on the season at 496 feet.

Line

NBA (0 GAMES)

NHL (0 GAMES)

MLB (15 GAMES)

Tampa Bay
9.5
NY Yankees
-1.5
Atlanta
9
Philadelphia
1.5

NFL (1 GAMES) Pre-Season Hall-of-Fame Week

Dallas
NA
Arizona
NA