Was Pete Alonso The Smart Money At The HR Derby?

Was this as huge of an upset as people thought, or was this a legitimate result people saw coming?

When it comes to betting the MLB Home Run Derby, there’s no doubt that there were a lot of parties that thought that it would play out just as it has in the past few seasons. Going back to 2017, the winner of the Home Run Derby has been the favored player. Going back to 2017, it was Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge, the latter of which won.

When it came to the 2018 Home Run Derby, it was Bryce Harper, who was the overwhelming favorite at +225 — one of the most heavily favored Derby competitors — and he ended up winning by a hair, but that’s all it took to edge out the competition. When it comes to the other candidates, they were not able to come close in this year’s contest, at least in the final goings. The Mets’ Pete Alonso was able to pull away and slug his way to the top over a similarly impressive rookie in Toronto’s Vlad Guerrero Jr., who actually had the most home runs in his first round at bat with over 29 home runs, breaking former Rangers great Josh Hamilton, who famously threw up 28 home runs in 2008.

Despite the outstanding run by Vlad Jr., he ran out of gas and was edged by Alonso. Alonso is in the running for NL Rookie of the Year, but this performance is just another example of just how outstanding he is, so despite his regular-season performances, this proves that he is more than just a gamer, he can have fun and perform outstandingly as well. And based on his performance, there’s no doubt that this proves that aside from on-the-field, in-game superiority, Alonso can light it up and have fun as well.

But despite all of the pieces, all of the “smart” money calling the “sure thing” Josh Bell of the Pittsburgh Pirates, how the heck did anyone possibly see this coming, and if so, is there any way that we can be sure to not miss out on such an “easy” cash ever again?

A Notable “Sharp” Player Picked Alonso

When it comes to sharp money, there are those that dwell in the realm of Twitter. One notable sharp on Twitter actually crunched the derby odds and, based on his calculations, was able to determine that while Alonso was priced in the market at about +405, he really should’ve been around +305. So that differential of about 100 cents obviously presented itself with a huge amount of value, which is the essence of gambling.

Long term, if you bet with value and execute solid money management, logic typically dictates that you’re going to be on the right side (and profit) more than you’re going to be on the wrong side. This is the essence of +EV, or positive expected value betting, ensuring that you’re finding the ideal balance of smart wagers combined with solid betting principles, ensuring that you’re going to be able to execute long-term and have an edge, which is one of the hardest aspects of sports betting.

That said, while it is possible to find “smart” bets, it can be increasingly challenging if you’re trying to find them in “novelty” events like the Home Run Derby. But there is no doubt that there were those that were right on the money in this event, and if you scope out the marketplace of information, you will certainly be able to find a lot more sharp information as well.

Tyler Vaysman

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