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The best sports event of July is finally here, so let’s go through the board and figure out who the smartest guy to put some money on is this year.
Kyle Schwarber (#1) vs. Albert Pujols (#8):
Albert is a first-ballot Hall of Famer, no questions asked. As much as I believe in meritocracy, I think it’s really cool that The Machine and Miggy will get to play in the mid-summer classic one last time. With that being said, Fat Albert has no chance. Kyle Schwarbombs has belted seventeen home runs since June 1st, he’s averaging a home run every fourteen at-bats, and his exit velocity is in the 96th percentile. I’m romantic about baseball as much as the next guy, but after falling second to his teammate Bryce Harper in 2018, Schwarber will be hungry to compete in the finals again. Take Schwarber over Pujols.
Juan Soto (#4) vs. Jose Ramirez (#5):
Mike Trout aside, these are the two best pure hitters in baseball. Power, contact, discipline- it’s all there. Soto put on a show in the first round last year, and the kid hits the barrel on the ball more consistently than I text the girl I’ve been hooking up with at 2:48 AM something illegible. Ramirez hasn’t been hitting the ball that hard this year, but you have to remember seeing a slider spiraling like mid-2000s Lindsay Lohan is a lot more challenging than getting BP from the partner of your choice. Sleeper pick, but I think Ramirez beats out Soto.
Corey Seager (#3) vs. Julio Rodriguez (#6)
J-Rod is an exciting rookie on the hottest team in baseball, but Corey Seager is returning to Dodger stadium. Seager hits the ball harder than Johnny Sins slapping an ass, the storyline is there, and J-Rod will be in this competition at least two more times through his career. Seager takes this round.
Pete Alonso (#2) vs. Ronald Acuna Jr (#7)
Pete Alonso is one of my favorite players in baseball and I mean no disrespect on the reigning champ; however, this is going to be the upset of the derby. Acuna’s barrel rate and exit velocity are among the best in baseball, he’s a flashy kid that will thrive in this kind of environment, and he’s got a chip on his shoulder right now.
I’m taking a Schwarber versus Acuna finals in which the Phillies get their first derby champion since the Bush administration.