HardballTalk 2017 Home Run Derby Predictions

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The Home Run Derby will be broadcast tonight at 8 PM ET on ESPN. It’s chock full of the game’s best sluggers, including defending champion Giancarlo Stanton who’ll try to repeat at his home park in Miami.

Here are the matchups with each player’s seed included in parentheses:

As we did last year, Craig, Ashley, and I have peered into our crystal ball to tell you exactly what’s going to happen tonight.

Craig

First Round

  • Sanchez upsets Stanton in the first round. UPSET OF THE CENTURY! Logan Morrison HANGS HIS HEAD IN SHAME!
  • Sano beats Moustakas
  • Judge KILLS Bour
  • Bellinger beats Blackmon

Second Round

  • Sano beats Sanchez — Gary peaks early and gets exhausted
  • Judge beats Bellinger

Finals

  • Judge beats Sano, launching 1000 “the torch has been passed” columns. Then Stanton kills him next year and normalcy is returned.

Ashley

First Round

  • Stanton over Sanchez
  • Sano over Moustakas
  • Judge over Bour
  • Bellinger over Blackmon

Life works out just as you expect it will. The established slugger vs. rookie slugger narrative lives on, and Miguel Sano and Cody Bellinger play their supporting roles with grace and dignity.

Second Round

  • Sano over Stanton
  • Judge over Bellinger

Stanton falls short of glory, prompting the Marlins to turn off the home run machine. If Bigfoot can’t hit all of the dingers, no dingers shall be celebrated with colorful lights, leaping fish and Lisa Frank levels of spectacle. Aaron Judge soldiers on.

Finals

  • Judge over Sano

Judge beats Sano by one mammoth home run, but fails to clear 500 feet. The ghost of Joe DiMaggio demands his rookie home run title back and sentences Judge to the curse of all Yankee Home Run Derby champions: the inability to repeat.

Bill

First Round

  • Sanchez holds his own, making Logan Morrison eat crow, but ultimately falls a couple homers short and Stanton moves on
  • Sano advances past Moustakas and hits the most home runs of any player in the first round
  • Bour beats Judge somehow
  • Blackmon takes down Bellinger, who will have the fewest home runs in the first round

Second Round

  • Sano gets gassed from hitting so many homers and Stanton moves on to the finals
  • Blackmon doesn’t stop hitting homers, breezes past Bour

Finals

  •  Stanton narrowly edges Blackmon to repeat as Home Run Derby champion

Feel free to leave your own predictions in the comments. Should be a fun night.

Royals, Alex Gordon close to contract agreement

Alex Gordon
Cody Glenn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan reports that the Royals and outfielder Alex Gordon are “getting close” to an agreement on a one-year contract. Terms of the deal aren’t yet known, but the Royals could make it official within the next few days.

Gordon, who turns 36 years old next month, hit .266/.345/.396 with 13 home runs and 76 RBI over 633 plate appearances with the Royals this past season. His offense has waned, owning an adjusted OPS of 84 since 2016 (100 is average), but he still plays decent defense.

Gordon has spent all 13 years of his major league career with the Royals. With the club in a rebuilding phase, he will serve as the clubhouse leader and be a mentor to younger players on the roster.