HR Derby Round 1: Pete Alonso vs. Ronald Acuna Jr.

The Home Run Derby kicks off tonight from Dodger Stadium, and Round 1 will see number two seed Pete Alonso take on number seven seed Ronald Acuna Jr.

Below, you can find our Round 1 pick for the Home Run Derby and our best bet on the FanDuel Sportsbook.

Round 1: (2) Pete Alonso (-200) vs. (7) Ronald Acuna Jr. (+165)

The Home Run Derby is one of MLB’s premier events and draws fans from across the globe for a night of fun and theatrics. This year’s event is filled with youngsters, veterans, and even legends of the game. There’s a ton of buzz surrounding this Round 1 matchup that will feature number two seed Pete Alonso of the New York Mets and number seven seed Ronald Acuna Jr. of the Atlanta Braves. This will be Alonso’s third appearance in the Home Run Derby, while Acuna Jr. will make his second appearance. 

There’s a lot to like about this opening-round matchup where Alonso mashed 24 home runs this season, compared to Acuna Jr’s eight. The Braves slugger was recovering from an injury and didn’t begin the season on time, but there’s no doubt he has plenty of power and can keep things competitive. With that, Alonso is now a two-time defending champion of the event, which has him as the current favorite to complete the trifecta. Only three players in the derby’s history have gone back-t0-back, the other two being Ken Griffey Jr. in 1998 and 1999 and Yoenis Cespedes in 2013 and 2014. 

It’s hard to argue against Acuna Jr. and his power stroke, so there’s a case for him to pull off the upset in Round 1, which features an attractive price at +165. However, Alonso has a rhythm in this event and is comfortable performing on this stage. There’s not a lot of value in The Polar Bear for Round 1, but he’s still a worthwhile candidate to advance.

Best Bet: Alonso to advance (-200)