The field and bracket for the 2022 Home Run Derby, part of MLB All-Star Game activities at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, has been announced. Will Pete Alonso of the New York Mets take home his third consecutive Home Run Derby title?
When is the 2022 Home Run Derby?
The 2022 Home Run Derby will take place on Monday, July 18, beginning at 8 p.m. Eastern/5 p.m. Pacific. The event will be shown in its entirety on ESPN.
What is the bracket for the 2022 Home Run Derby?
Eight sluggers will take part in the Home Run Derby, including Alonso, who is looking to join Ken Griffey Jr. as the only players to have won the Derby on three different occasions. However, not even Griffey has won the Derby three straight times (winning in 1994, 1998, and 1999), so Alonso could make history in multiple ways with a victory.
1 seed Kyle Schwarber vs. 8 seed Albert Pujols
Schwarber entered Friday’s action as the National League leader in home runs with 28. He’s finished as the runner-up in 2018 (to Bryce Harper), so he knows what it takes to get past the first round.
This will be the fifth Home Run Derby for Pujols and he will be hitting inside a stadium he called home for part of the 2021 season. However, with six home runs on the season, there is a reason why Pujols is the bottom seed in the bracket.
Prediction: Schwarber wins
4 seed Juan Soto vs. 5 seed Jose Ramirez
Remember last year when Juan Soto hit a Home Run Derby pitch 520 feet at Coors Field? He set a record and set some high expectations that he didn’t meet last season in Denver, losing to Alonso in the second round.
Soto is back this year and should still be able to produce plenty of power, even in a completely different National League West park than last season’s exhibition.
He has 19 home runs this season … and could be undervalued at a four seed.
His opponent, Jose Ramirez of the Cleveland Guardians, has 17 home runs on the campaign. He could make history by becoming the first-ever switch hitter to outright win the Derby.
Ramirez, however, enters Friday with just one home run in his last 30 games, meaning he’s in a power slump heading into the Derby.
Prediction: Soto wins
2 seed Pete Alonso vs. 7 seed Ronald Acuña Jr.
Only Schwarber’s high number of home runs keeps the two-time defending champ from being the top seed. Of course, Alonso’s 24 homers is nothing to discount, and the Polar Bear has shown he knows what he is doing when it comes to the Derby.
Acuña has just eight home runs this season but has played in just 57 games because of injuries. He lost to Alonso in the Derby semifinals in 2019 and this is a chance for him to exact revenge, but it’s a tough matchup for the Braves superstar.
Prediction: Alonso wins
3 seed Corey Seager vs. 6 seed Julio Rodríguez
After a slow start, Seager is showing his power, logging 21 homers heading into Friday. His career-high mark is 26 set in 2016, and this is just the third time in his eight-year career he has hit 20 or more homers in a season.
Seager is also expected to have a warm welcome from the crowd at Dodger Stadium for all he has done for the franchise. He knows the park well, so will that give him a home-field advantage?
Rodriguez, meanwhile, is creating quite a buzz for being a part of the Derby as the 21-year-old front-runner for American League Rookie of the Year. Will he embrace the spotlight or will he have plenty to learn from his first time in the Derby? We’re betting on the former more than the latter.
Prediction: Rodríguez wins