2018 MLB Home Run Derby Predictions (Daryll and Giuseppe)

The Home Run Derby is one of the events that takes place during the All-Star Break and it is one of the most difficult and unpredictable to predict. While our predictions are wrong more often than not, that does not stop us so without further delay, here are Doubleday Double Talk’s Home Run Derby Predictions.

Daryll Dorman

FIRST ROUND

Jesus Aguilar (1) vs. Rhys Hoskins (8)

Aguilar is the new kid on the block here – which is saying something considering Rhys Hoskins only debuted last year in 50 games for the Phillies. Last year he had a great 18 home runs in just 170 AB’s, and while this year in 299 AB’s he has “just” 14 home runs, he is certainly a hitter to watch in the future. I’m going with “Magneto” Rhys here.

Alex Bregman (4) vs. Kyle Schwarber (5)

Bregman got the game-winner in one of the greatest games ever played last Fall, and now he lines up against 2016 World Series hero Kyle Schwarber. Schwarber has overall failed to live up to lofty expectations following that 2016 World Series – but it doesn’t mean the dude can’t swat the baseball out of the park just about anytime he wants to. I’m going with Schwarber.

Bryce Harper (2) vs. Freddie Freeman (7)

Easily the juiciest of the matchups – home team representative Bryce Harper in the last year of his contract versus division rival Freddie Freeman. This is just the 3rd All-Star Team for Freeman at 28 while already the 6th for Harper at just 25 which is amazing. Yet that belies the real story here: Bryce Harper is in line to be a free agency and sign the biggest deal in history – and seems to be feeling the heat. His batting average is just .213. If that number sounds familiar – you might be thinking about Bryce’s career post-season average: .211. I’m calling on sweet-swinging, all field-hitting Freddie to beat Bryce, who then just might cry the rest of the evening.

Max Muncy (3) vs. Javier Baez (6)

Best known perhaps for a ridiculously sweet tag during the World Baseball Classic, Baez can also hit and do it with flair. Again I’m saying that as great a story as Muncy’s emergence has been in LA this year, it’s Baez who rises to the occasion to win the round- and with style.

SEMIFINALS

Rhys Hoskins (8) vs. Kyle Schwarber (5)

Schwarber’s defense is still a liability, but he also did quietly hit 30 home runs last season though disappointingly with a .211 BA and only .315 OBP. This year his OBP is up to .374 and with 17 home runs at the break – should be able to break that 30 home run mark. I’m going with Schwarber here.

Freddie Freeman (7) vs. Javier Baez (6)

I fully admit my bias here: I love Freddie Freeman. Baez might have a few more with flair, but like he has been doing since becoming a full-time starter with the Braves in 2011, Freddie just quietly chugs along and wins the round, silently doing his job.

FINALS

Freddie Freeman (7) vs. Kyle Schwarber (5)

You have two distinct styles here: Freddie the all-around hitter who consistently beats the shift against him against the Moneyball OBP slugger Kyle Schwarber. Take a look at Freeman’s spray charts here compiled by Fangraphs – this is how Freddie Freeman wins the 2018 Home Run Derby.

freddie

Giuseppe Vitulli

FIRST ROUND

Jesus Aguilar (1) vs. Rhys Hoskins (8)

Jesus Aguilar is having an insane breakout season with some of the best offensive numbers in baseball. Aguilar is currently hitting .307/.375/.644 with 24 homers while leading the National League in slugging percentage(.644), OPS (1.019), and home runs (23). While Hoskins has plenty of pop himself as previously mentioned by my colleague Daryll, I feel that Aguilar will easily win this one and advance to the Semifinals.

Alex Bregman (4) vs. Kyle Schwarber (5)

Alex Bregman has had a breakout season in 2018 with 19 home runs (tying his career high from 2017) in 362 at-bats and Kyle Schwarber, as always, has a boatload of power with 17 home runs in 259 at-bats. While Schwarber may seem like the heavy favorite in this scenario, I am predicting that the only American Leaguer in the home run Derby will out-homer one of two Chicago Cubs in the contest.

Bryce Harper (2) vs. Freddie Freeman (7)

While there is no way that my analysis will be better than Daryll’s on this one, especially with my co-writer throwing shade on Harper (nice one Daryll), I will say that my way of thinking is almost exactly the same. Harper has pop, of course, but even with his minuscule batting average aside, Harper is a dead pull hitter like most power hitters. Freeman, on the other hand, can take any pitch given to him and put it out of the ballpark with ease. Freeman’s swing is also very simple and is less taxing on his body, which will allow him to hit better for longer than Harper, whose swing has a ton of moving parts and is physically demanding. That being said Freeman is my pick.

Max Muncy (3) vs. Javier Baez (6)

Javier Baez has a swing that is basically designed for the Home Run Derby as Baez’s goal every time he goes to the plate is, “Put it out of the ballpark”. Baez has hit 18 home runs in 2018 in 329 plate appearances. While Baez undoubtedly has enough power to win the whole thing, I am taking Max Muncy to out-homer Baez in the First Round. Muncy is having a breakout season with 21 home runs in 213 at-bats (3 more home runs in 116 fewer at-bats) and in his outstanding 2018 he has consistently hit the ball well with a solid swing and with the way that Muncy has been swinging the bat as of late, I just have a feeling he is going to shock the world and beat Baez.

SEMIFINALS

Jesus Aguilar (1) vs. Alex Bregman (4)

Jesus Aguilar will head into this matchup as the heavy favorite but will leave disappointed. I am predicting that Alex Bregman will, against all the odds, pull off an upset victory over the National League’s Final Vote winner, making Las Vegas gamblers go ballistic, and the American League proud.

Freddie Freeman (7) vs. Max Muncy (3)

Freddie Freeman, as I stated before, has incredible bat control and could do anything he wants with any pitch he gets, because of this, I have Freeman making quick work of Muncy and advancing to the Final without much difficulty.

FINALS

Freddie Freeman (7) vs. Alex Bregman (4) 

Freddie Freeman and Alex Bregman will put on a show for the fans in D.C. who are still griping after Freeman defeated Harper in the first round. Freeman is not about to get this far for nothing and while Bregman is outstanding in the Final, Freeman is spectacular and will pull off one of the most exciting victories in Home Run Derby history.


Do you agree with our predictions?

Who do you think will win the Home Run Derby?

Feel free to let us hear it in the comments section below!

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