Sportress of Blogitude

Bryce Harper installed as early favorite to win Home Run Derby

Washington Nationals slugger Bryce Harper has been installed as the early favorite to win the 2018 T-Mobile Home Run Derby during 2018 MLB All-Star Game festivities next Monday night.

The odds come courtesy of Bovada, via a tweet from Yahoo Sports.

Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Jesús Aguilar and Los Angeles Dodgers utility man Max Muncy come in behind Harper as favorites.

Harper of course has home-field advantage with the All-Star Game being held in D.C. at Nationals Park. Not only that, Harper is the only player in the field who has previously competed in a Home Run Derby. Harper was runner-up to Yoenis Cespedes in 2013 at Citi Field.

The Home Run Derby has lost some of its luster over the past few years due to the power-hitting exhibition’s failure to attract the top sluggers in the game. Harper without question is the biggest name on the list this year, and his presence can be at least partly attributed to the Nationals hosting the All-Star Game.

Big names like Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, among many others, declined to participate, a troubling development for Major League Baseball that seems to get worse with each passing year. Boston Red Sox slugger and All-Star starter Mookie Betts even proposed recently that the league should simply do way with the Derby.

Despite all the doom and gloom surrounding the Derby, Harper nevertheless is excited about being part of it.

“I think doing it is going to be a lot of fun,” Harper said, via USA TODAY. “I was able to participate in New York the first time and it was a lot of fun. If I win, I win. If I don’t, it’s part of it. I’m just excited to hopefully share that day with my dad (who plans to again throw to Harper at the Derby).”