Mark Trumbo is your Home Run Derby favorite

5 Comments

With Kansas City’s Kauffman Stadium serving as the battleground, Monday’s Home Run Derby figured to yield fewer souveniers than usual. Kauffman is one of the game’s tough home run parks. Using Stats Inc. park factors, only Minnesota’s Target Field played tougher on home runs for AL parks  from 2009-11 and that only slightly. It’s played closer to neutral this year, but Yankee Stadium it’s not.

That’s especially true for left-handed hitters. With 100 being average, Kauffman had a home run park factor of 64 from 2009-11, the lowest of any AL stadium. It was a more reasonable 89 for right-handed hitters. Yankee Stadium, in comparison, was at 143 for lefties and 117 for righties.

So, the righties should have the advantage tonight. Kauffman is a symmetrical park, but the ball just tends to travel better to left field.

And that’s one big reason I expect the Angels’ Mark Trumbo to be the champ. Of the participants, he’s hit the longest homers this year.

Data taken from ESPN Stats & Info:

R – Trumbo: 22 HR – 419.5 ft
L – Prince Fielder: 15 HR – 411.7 ft
L – Robinson Cano: 20 HR – 406.8 ft
R – Jose Bautista: 27 HR – 403.3 ft

L – Carlos Gonzalez: 17 HR – 412.4 ft
S – Carlos Beltran: 20 HR – 408.9 ft
R – Matt Kemp: 12 HR, 400.2 ft
R – Andrew McCutchen: 18 HR – 398.9 ft

Interestingly, Beltran says he still hasn’t decided whether he’ll swing lefty or righty tonight.

Apart from Trumbo, I think Cano, the defending champ, and Beltran are the favorites. Bautista and Kemp were both eliminated in the first round last year, and Kemp still has some rust to shake anyway. Fielder has the muscle to start off strong, but as much effort as he puts into his swing, I think he’d fade if he ever made it to the finals.

Tuesday’s Rays-Orioles game postponed due to rain

Patrick Smith/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Orioles announced that Tuesday night’s game against the Rays at Camden Yards has been postponed due to rain. The game will be made up as part of a single-admission doubleheader on May 12 at 3:05 PM. The second game will begin about 30 minutes after the first game finishes.

As Weather.com noted recently, Major League Baseball has already seen a record number of weather-related postponements this month, at least dating back to 1986.

According to Jayson Stark of The Athletic, as of April 19 when he wrote this column, there had been only four days where all 30 teams managed to play on the same day. Stark also pointed out that, at the time he published his article, there had been 27 games with first-pitch temperatures in the 30’s. There was one such game last year, eight in 2016, four in 2015, and 12 in 2014. It’s been a weird month.