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July 15, 2013

BP Unfiltered

Betting on the Home Run Derby

by Andrew Koo

In general, you shouldn’t bet on sports. But say you did.

In general, you shouldn’t bet on a result unless you’ve done sufficient research.

For events like the Home Run Derby though, research is thrown out the window. If you’re betting on the Home Run Derby, well, then you’re betting on the Home Run Derby.

Pinnacle Sports has odds of almost every hitter matchup in Round 1. For example, the line on Chris Davis beating Bryce Harper is -149 (bet $149 to win $100). The line on Harper beating Davis is +127 (bet $100 to win $127 – a “plus” price).

If you are truly really actually indeed definitely betting on the Home Run Derby, my advice would be to bet underdogs (i.e. plus prices), because any time you can earn better than a 50% ROI on (essentially) a coin flip proposition, that’s value!

So what would’ve happened if you bet $100 on every round 1 underdog? Let’s see.

Matchup

Odds

Homers

Winner/Return

Harper vs Davis most HRs in Round 1

2101 Bryce Harper

+127

8

Tie

2102 Chris Davis

-149

8

100.00

Harper vs Wright most HRs in Round 1

2103 Bryce Harper

-174

8

Harper

2104 David Wright

+148

5

0.00

Harper vs Cuddyer most HRs in Round 1

2105 Bryce Harper

-220

8

Harper

2106 Michael Cuddyer

+185

7

0.00

Harper vs Alvarez most HRs in Round 1

2107 Bryce Harper

-136

8

Harper

2108 Pedro Alvarez

+116

6

0.00

Harper vs Fielder most HRs in Round 1

2109 Bryce Harper

+116

8

Harper

2110 Prince Fielder

-136

5

216.00

Harper vs Cano most HRs in Round 1

2111 Bryce Harper

-124

8

Harper

2112 Robinson Cano

+106

4

0.00

Harper vs Cespedes most HRs in Round 1

2113 Bryce Harper

-166

8

Cespedes

2114 Yoenis Cespedes

+141

17

241.00

Davis vs Wright most HRs in Round 1

2115 Chris Davis

-197

8

Davis

2116 David Wright

+167

5

0.00

Davis vs Cuddyer most HRs in Round 1

2117 Chris Davis

-225

8

Davis

2118 Michael Cuddyer

+189

7

0.00

Davis vs Alvarez most HRs in Round 1

2119 Chris Davis

-144

8

Davis

2120 Pedro Alvarez

+123

6

0.00

Davis vs Fielder most HRs in Round 1

2121 Chris Davis

-109

8

Davis

2122 Prince Fielder

-107

5

0.00

Davis vs Cano most HRs in Round 1

2123 Chris Davis

-142

8

Davis

2124 Robinson Cano

+121

4

0.00

Davis vs Cespedes most HRs in Round 1

2125 Chris Davis

-191

8

Cespedes

2126 Yoenis Cespedes

+162

17

262.00

Wright vs Cuddyer most HRs in Round 1

2127 David Wright

-143

5

Cuddyer

2128 Michael Cuddyer

+122

7

222.00

Wright vs Alvarez most HRs in Round 1

2131 David Wright

+119

5

Alvarez

2132 Pedro Alvarez

-139

6

0.00

Wright vs Fielder most HRs in Round 1

2131 David Wright

+152

5

Tie

2132 Prince Fielder

-179

5

100.00

Wright vs Cano most HRs in Round 1

2135 David Wright

+122

5

Wright

2136 Robinson Cano

-143

4

222.00

Wright vs Cespedes most HRs in Round 1

2137 David Wright

-102

5

Cespedes

2138 Yoenis Cespedes

-114

17

0.00

Cuddyer vs Alvarez most HRs in Round 1

2139 Michael Cuddyer

+136

7

Cuddyer

2140 Pedro Alvarez

-160

6

236.00

Cuddyer vs Fielder most HRs in Round 1

2139 Michael Cuddyer

+194

7

Cuddyer

2140 Prince Fielder

-232

5

294.00

Cuddyer vs Cano most HRs in Round 1

2141 Michael Cuddyer

+145

7

Cuddyer

2142 Robinson Cano

-171

4

245.00

Cuddyer vs Cespedes most HRs in Round 1

2143 Michael Cuddyer

+124

7

Cespedes

2144 Yoenis Cespedes

-145

17

0.00

Alvarez vs Fielder most HRs in Round 1

2145 Pedro Alvarez

+116

6

Alvarez

2146 Prince Fielder

-135

5

216.00

Alvarez vs Cespedes most HRs in Round 1

2147 Pedro Alvarez

-144

6

Cespedes

2148 Yoenis Cespedes

+123

17

223.00

Fielder vs Cano most HRs in Round 1

2149 Prince Fielder

-136

5

Fielder

2150 Robinson Cano

+116

4

0.00

Fielder vs Cespedes most HRs in Round 1

2151 Prince Fielder

-158

5

Cespedes

2152 Yoenis Cespedes

+135

17

235.00

Cano vs Cespedes most HRs in Round 1

2153 Robinson Cano

-142

4

Cespedes

2154 Yoenis Cespedes

+121

17

221.00

Record: 12 wins, 13 losses, 2 pushes

Payout: $3,033

Cost: $2,700

Net: $333

So if you did bet the underdog on every single one of these matchups, you would’ve come out a winner, thanks to the bats of Yoenis Cespedes and Michael Cuddyer. You also would’ve been biting your nails the whole time over the freaking Home Run Derby.

Andrew Koo is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Andrew's other articles. You can contact Andrew by clicking here

Related Content:  Home Runs,  Home Run Derby

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