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MLB Best Bets: MLB All-Star Game and Home Run Derby Picks, Predictions, Odds to Consider on DraftKings Sportsbook

Nick Friar gives his best bets on DraftKings Sportsbook for the 2021 MLB Home Run Derby and All-Star Game.

The MLB Home Run Derby’s long-awaited return to Coors Field is finally upon us, and there are quite a few ways to attack the event on DraftKings Sportsbook. After that, we’ve got the 2021 MLB All-Star Game to look ahead to on Tuesday. Will 2021 be the year NL snaps its losing streak, or will the AL make it eight wins in a row?

If you want to sweat out these picks with me, follow me on Twitter: @Nick_Friar.



2021 MLB Home Run Derby

Shohei Ohtani Longest Home Run over 499.5 feet -105

Among the group of hitters participating in the 2021 Home Run Derby, Ohtani has the longest home run of the season at 470 feet, per MLB’s Statcast. Of course, it’s a lot easier to square up a ball off batting practice pitching. Ohtani should be able to surpass his season-long home run in this contest.

But, Ohtani will need to hit his furthest long ball in the Home Run Derby quite a bit further than 470 feet in order to hit the over on this DraftKings Sportsbook bet. That’s where Coors Field comes into play. Everyone knows baseballs fly out Coors like it’s nothing, both in terms of distance and volume of home runs.

As it pertains to distance, according to Statcast, the Rockies’ home park has the greatest variable extra distance at 18.8 feet in all of baseball this season — Arizona’s Chase Field is the only other park with a variable extra distance over 10 feet (14.9) this season. The last place Ohtani homered before the break was T-Mobile Park in Seattle. Statcast recorded that ball travelling 463 feet — at a park where the variable extra distance is -3.6 feet. Knowing he can send a ball into orbit anywhere, I trust Ohtani to send one at least 500 feet on Monday.


Salvador Perez Longest Home Run over 489.5 feet -115

In 2017, Perez set a career high in home runs, launching 27 in 129 games. He matched those numbers in 2018, then missed all of 2019 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. After hitting 11 homers in 37 games last season, Kansas City’s catcher is on pace to destroy his career-high.

But that’s not all. On top of his 21 home runs through 89 games this year, Perez smacked his farthest home run of the Statcast era back on May 4 vs. Cleveland, sending one 460 feet at Progressive Field (variable extra distance of -0.8 feet). Almost a month to the day later, Perez hit one 456 feet at Target Field (variable extra distance of -3 feet).

Similar to Ohtani, the variable to Coors Field combined with this being glorified batting practice puts the over on DraftKings Sportsbook for Perez’s longest home run comfortably in reach for the AL’s starting catcher.


Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $250K All-Star Showdown [$50K to 1st] (AL vs NL)


Total Home Runs over 224.5 -120

I don’t anticipate we’ll see 311 home runs on Monday like we did in 2019’s wild event at Cleveland’s Progressive Field. But, I fully expect there will be more home runs hit at Coors than we saw at Nationals Park in 2018 (221), which had a variable extra distance of -0.7 feet that season.

In the three derbies that preceded 2018, the most home runs we saw in the new format in three tries was 203 in 2016 — a significant increase from 159 in 2015, the first Home Run Derby under the current format. Given the 2017 group saw a slight dip down to 191, both the 2015 and 2019 totals seem like they’ll go down as outliers.

That said, if any place is going to produce a number well above the average number of home runs, it’s Coors Field.


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2021 MLB All-Star Game

Total under 10.5 runs -105

Good pitching beats good hitting. That’s usually proven true in the postseason, and the same can be said of the Midsummer Classic — especially in recent years. Since 2015, AL and NL hitters have only been able to combine for double-digit runs once, scoring 14 in 2018.

I would think hitters will get closer to that double-digit mark this year since Colorado is playing host, but don’t look for a repeat of the offensive production we saw the last time the MLB All-Star Game was played at Coors in 1998 (21 total runs). The game has changed a bit since then.

And while pitchers were the ones who had the advantage that sent everyone into a tizzy this season, the league-wide averages only swayed slightly back toward the hitters’ favor after MLB implemented its foreign substance rules. Pitchers are still in charge of the league, and the best of them will prove that again on Tuesday.


National League -110

Whether the MLB All-Star Game has been held at an NL or AL park, the latter hasn’t lost since 2012. That Midsummer Classic was the last victory of a three-game winning streak for the NL — the only three losses for the AL since 1997.

That said, I’m picking the NL to snap its skid this season. I like the AL’s lineup a little more, but not enough to where my opinion of the offenses outweighs my feelings toward the two pitching staffs. Even though Lance Lynn and Kyle Gibson have been great in 2021, the group of starters representing the NL have impressed me more as a whole this season, and that’s excluding those who won’t be in the mix on Tuesday — Jacob deGrom, Kevin Gausman, Brandon Woodruff and Yu Darvish.


UPDATE: The following pick was added at 11:20 p.m. ET Monday after being made available on DraftKings Sportsbook.

Score in the 1st Inning
Yes -140

Both sides have gone scoreless in the first inning since the 2017 All-Star Game. At first, I had that trend maintaining through Tuesday. But then Ohtani was named the AL’s leadoff hitter and starting pitcher.

Ohtani didn’t make it out of the first round in the Home Run Derby, but he and Juan Soto put on a show with their double-OT battle. Following Monday’s festivities, Ohtani will either be out of gas or amped for Tuesday’s contest. Whether he lives up to the hype or is a letdown, he’s going to have a hand in a run being scored in the first inning of the 2021 MLB All-Star Game.

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $250K All-Star Showdown [$50K to 1st] (AL vs NL)


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