We get it. Not everybody is into the Home Run Derby. But some of you are and that’s totally fine. We’re here if you want to talk (or complain) about it.
Feel free to use this as an open thread to discuss the festivities at Citi Field this evening. Below you’ll find the eight participants for this year’s derby.
David Wright (NL Captain) – 13 home runs this season
Michael Cuddyer – 16 home runs this season
Bryce Harper – 13 home runs this season
Pedro Alvarez – 24 home runs this season
Robinson Cano (AL Captain) – 21 home runs this season
Prince Fielder (defending champion) – 16 home runs this season
Chris Davis – 37 home runs this season
Yoenis Cespedes – 15 home runs this season
In Matthew’s preview earlier today, he pegged Prince Fielder as the favorite. And as a two-time winner, he probably should be. O’s slugger Chris Davis obviously has a ton of hype coming into tonight’s event, but I’m hoping to see Bryce Harper put on a show.
Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.
In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.
The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.
The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.