We have officially hit the All-Star break, which means no Dodgers baseball for four days. However, you can still get your dose of the Boys in Blue this week. Tomorrow, Kenley Jansen, Matt Kemp, and Ross Stripling will be representing the Dodgers in the midsummer classic. Tonight, you can catch breakout sensation Max Muncy in the Home Run Derby. Here’s everything you need to know heading into tonight’s contest.
Tonight at 8 p.m. ET
HOW YOU CAN WATCH
On ESPN or any streaming ESPN service
The bracket for the 2018 MLB Home Run Derby! pic.twitter.com/tai9MAU4yG
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) July 12, 2018
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Home Run Derby, or have forgotten about the recent changes, I’ll quickly keep you up to date. Back in 2015, the MLB made changes to the Home Run Derby. Before, it used to be you were given 10 outs, and the top performers would advance after each round, based off of who hit the most home runs. Now, the Derby is in a bracket-style format. There are eight contestants who each square off against each other. A clock of four minutes runs, and each player has that much time to try and hit as many home runs as possible.
Max Muncy represents the Dodgers
Max Muncy will be the ninth Dodger to ever compete in the Home Run Derby. If Muncy is able to win, he would become the first Dodger to ever win the title. With 22 home runs on the season, Muncy is third amongst the contestants. The seeding is based off of home runs coming into the matchup. Coming into the season virtually as a player nobody knew, he could leave tonight becoming a household name. This contest is perfect for Muncy, who is no stranger to the long ball. Is average home run distance is 402 feet, the third highest in the competition. His fly-ball percentage is 45%, which is good for third as well. To top things off, his HR-to-Fly-ball % sits at 30.6, the highest among the competitors. Simply put, Muncy likes to hit it high and far.
As a left-handed batter, Muncy will have a slight advantage over righties. The wall in right field is 335 feet, as opposed to the wall being 336 feet in left. Right-center field sits at 370 feet, whereas left-center sits at 377 feet. Like I said, it’s not a huge difference, but every foot can possibly help.
In the first round, Muncy will be facing off against Javier Baez of the Chicago Cubs. Baez has 19 homers on the year, which is good for seventh in the national league. He can swing the bat, though, as his .571 slugging percentage is the fourth best in the league.
Regardless of the outcome, it sure will be amazing to see Max Muncy competing in the Home Run Derby. I’m sure that at the beginning of the season, not one single Dodgers fan could have predicted Muncy would have made such an impact, let alone making an appearance in the Derby. Although he should be playing in the game on Tuesday, this will be a nice way for him to introduce himself to MLB fans.
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