The 2021 Home Run Derby gets going at 8 p.m. ET Monday evening on ESPN. The focus will be on the hitters, with Shohei Ohtani the big name to watch. The two-way star is the favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook, installed at +250 to win. He’s followed by Joey Gallo (+450), Pete Alonso (+500), and Matt Olson (+525).
The world will be watching the sluggers do their thing, but in many ways, their partner on the mound could prove just as important. Each batter in the Derby gets to pick who will pitch to them. Some will go with a familiar face that throws batting practice day-in and day-out. Some will pick a person they have a good chemistry with, even if that person does not regularly pitch to them.
Below is a list of the eight people who will be pitching to the eight batters in the Home Run Derby. The most notable outsider is Notre Dame Chuck Ristano throwing to Trey Mancini. Everybody else is going with someone who is or has been at least somewhat of a regular in their major league routine.
If you’re looking to learn more about the individual selections, ESPN’s Buster Olney sat down with each hitter and learned why they made the choice they made.
Pete Alonso — Mets bench coach Dave Jauss
Joey Gallo — Rangers third base coach Tony Beasley
Trey Mancini — Notre Dame assistant pitching coach Chuck Ristano
Shohei Ohtani — Angels bullpen catcher Jason Brown
Matt Olson — Athletics assistant hitting coach Eric Martins
Salvador Perez — Royals batting practice pitcher Miguel Garcia
Juan Soto — Nationals hitting coach Kevin Long
Trevor Story — Rockies bench coach Mike Redmond