The Home Run Derby was introduced to the All-Star game back in 1985 but has really seen its popularity explode in recent years thanks to social media.
From first BP pitch to last, fence-clearing moonshots make the rounds on Twitter or Instagram, and highlight-reel performances have pushed young MLB stars Juan Soto, Vlad Guerrero Jr and Pete Alonso to new heights of fame.
The Derby creates a buzz in the stands, and does likewise at online sportsbooks. Here’s how to bet on it online in California including live HR Derby odds and a complete history of the winners and Derby records.
2023 Home Run Derby odds
As soon as legal California online sportsbooks go live with MLB betting lines, you can keep up with the latest odds to win the Home Run Derby right here.
How to bet on the Home Run Derby
As legal sports betting online expands to more states, more fans can put some money down on the Home Run Derby. Here are some of the most popular wagers:
- Outright winner.
- Over/under on the length of the longest homer.
- Which player will hit the longest home run?
- Will the winner be a left-handed or right-handed hitter?
- League of winning player — AL or NL.
- Exact outcome — which players will be in the final?
Sportsbook odds and lines for all of these may vary, so it can be beneficial to shop around before you bet. Your potential profit will depend on the numbers when you place your bet, so ensure you’re setting yourself up for the best possible return if all goes well.
If we look back to a recent edition of the MLB Home Run Derby, here were the outright winner odds at Caesars Sportsbook for the eight participants.
- Shohei Ohtani +240
- Joey Gallo +400
- Pete Alonso +500
- Matt Olson +600
- Juan Soto +900
- Trevor Story +900
- Salvador Perez +1300
- Trey Mancini +1600
For the above, it was Pete Alonso over Trey Mancini in the final round, with the former taking the victory. A $100 bet on Alonso would have brought back a profit of $500. If Mancini had pulled it off, bettors who selected him to win would’ve done even better.
The over/under for the longest homer was 499.5 feet at DraftKings Sportsbook, with odds of -121 on the over and -106 on the under. Juan Soto smashed a 520-foot bomb to lead over bettors to victory. A winning $100 bet at -121 would have returned $82.60 in profit.
Before you bet on the Home Run Derby, review the exact terms of each bet that you place. While many sports betting rules are standard, such as sportsbooks voiding bets on players who fail to participate, it’s still a good idea to be aware of any specific house rules.
How the MLB Home Run Derby works
The overall Home Run Derby format has changed through the years. The event saw anywhere from four to 10 players competing in the early days. Each slugger had two “innings” to smack as many homers as possible before running out of “outs.”
Any swing that didn’t result in a home run was an out. The winner was the player who recorded the most total long balls during his time at the plate. Here’s how the derby has worked since the last set of changes:
- Eight participants are seeded by their season-to-date HR totals.
- Players compete in head-to-head matchups.
- Each hitter has three minutes to hit as many homers as possible.
- Players receive bonus time for homers that travel over 475 feet.
- The winner of each matchup advances.
- In the event of a tie, each player gets one additional minute (two minutes in the final round).
- Each batter gets three swings if still tied until someone breaks the tie.
MLB Home Run Derby history
The first official MLB Home Run Derby took place in 1985. There was no TV coverage in the early days, but that changed when ESPN started broadcasting the event on tape delay in 1993. Since 1998, the derby has been broadcast live.
It has evolved into a popular TV event, as the summer months are pretty slow for major sports. The derby can be a highlight for bettors and viewers as a result.
Dave Parker of the Cincinnati Reds was the winner of the inaugural event in 1985, held at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis. In the decades that followed, many top players claimed the crown.
All-time Home Run Derby winners
The derby has taken place annually since 1985, except for two years. Here are the winners by year:
|2021||Pete Alonso, New York Mets, NL||Coors Field, Colorado Rockies|
|2019||Pete Alonso, New York Mets, NL||Progressive Field, Cleveland Indians|
|2018||Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals, NL||Nationals Park, Washington Nationals|
|2017||Aaron Judge, New York Yankees, AL||Marlins Park, Miami Marlins|
|2016||Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins, NL||Petco Park, San Diego Padres|
|2015||Todd Frazier, Cincinnati Reds, NL||Great American Ballpark, Cincinnati Reds|
|2014||Yoenis Cespedes, Oakland Athletics, AL||Target Field, Minnesota Twins|
|2013||Yoenis Cespedes, Oakland Athletics, AL||Citi Field, New York Mets|
|2012||Prince Fielder, Detroit Tigers, AL||Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City Royals|
|2011||Robinson Cano, New York Yankees, AL||Chase Field, Arizona Diamondbacks|
|2010||David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox, AL||Angel Stadium, Los Angeles Angels|
|2009||Prince Fielder, Milwaukee Brewers, NL||Busch Stadium, St. Louis Cardinals|
|2008||Justin Morneau, Minnesota Twins, AL||Yankee Stadium, New York Yankees|
|2007||Vladimir Guerrero, Los Angeles Angels, AL||AT&T Park, San Francisco Giants|
|2006||Ryan Howard, Philadelphia Phillies, NL||PNC Park, Pittsburgh Pirates|
|2005||Bobby Abreu, Philadelphia Phillies, NL||Comerica Park, Detroit Tigers|
|2004||Miguel Tejada, Baltimore Orioles, AL||Minute Maid Park, Houston Astros|
|2003||Garrett Anderson, Anaheim Angels, AL||US Cellular Field, Chicago White Sox|
|2002||Jason Giambi, New York Yankees, AL||Miller Park, Milwaukee Brewers|
|2001||Luis Gonzalez, Arizona Diamondbacks, NL||Safeco Field, Seattle Mariners|
|2000||Sammy Sosa, Chicago Cubs, NL||Turner Field, Atlanta Braves|
|1999||Ken Griffey Jr., Seattle Mariners, AL||Fenway Park, Boston Red Sox|
|1998||Ken Griffey Jr., Seattle Mariners, AL||Coors Field, Colorado Rockies|
|1997||Tino Martinez, New York Yankees, AL||Jacobs Field, Cleveland Indians|
|1996||Barry Bonds, San Francisco Giants, NL||Veterans Stadium, Philadelphia Phillies|
|1995||Frank Thomas, Chicago White Sox, AL||The Ballpark in Arlington, Texas Rangers|
|1994||Ken Griffey Jr., Seattle Mariners, AL||Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh Pirates|
|1993||Juan Gonzalez, Texas Rangers, AL||Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore Orioles|
|1992||Mark McGwire, Oakland Athletics, AL||Jack Murphy Stadium, San Diego Padres|
|1991||Cal Ripken Jr., Baltimore Orioles, AL||SkyDome, Toronto Blue Jays|
|1990||Ryne Sandberg, Chicago Cubs, NL||Wrigley Field, Chicago Cubs|
Ruben Sierra, Texas Rangers, AL
Eric Davis, Cincinnati Reds, NL
|Anaheim Stadium, California Angels|
|1987||Andre Dawson, Chicago Cubs, NL||Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, Oakland Athletics|
Darryl Strawberry, New York Mets, NL
Wally Joyner, California Angels, AL
|Astrodome, Houston Astros
|1985||Dave Parker, Cincinnati Reds, NL||Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, Minnesota Twins|
MLB Home Run Derby record book
A good portion of the excitement for the Home Run Derby is that there’s the possibility of a memorable moment with every pitch and swing. Here are some record-setting performances:
- Most home runs in a single derby
- First: 91 — Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Toronto Blue Jays, 2019
- Second: 74 — Pete Alonso, New York Mets, 2021
- Third: 61 — Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins, 2016
- Most home runs in a single round
- First: 40 — Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Toronto Blue Jays, 2019
- Second: 39 — Joc Pederson, Los Angeles Dodgers, 2019
- Third: 35 — Pete Alonso, New York Mets, 2021
- Most all-time derby home runs
- First: 131 — Pete Alonso, New York Mets (2019 and 2021)
- Second: 99 — Joc Pederson, Los Angeles Dodgers (2015 and 2019)
- Third (tie): 91 — Todd Frazier, Cincinnati Reds/Chicago White Sox (2014-16)
- Third (tie): 91 — Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Toronto Blue Jays (2019)
- Most derby winners from the same team
- First: Four — New York Yankees (1997, 2002, 2011, 2017)
- Second: Three — Los Angeles Angels, Oakland Athletics, Chicago Cubs, Seattle Mariners, Cincinnati Reds, New York Mets
- Third: Two — Baltimore Orioles, Philadelphia Phillies, Texas Rangers