Judge may rule HR Derby in Mi­ami

The Washington Post Sunday - - WASHINGTONPOST.COM/SPORTS - BY NEIL GREEN­BERG neil.green­berg@wash­post.com Ex­cerpted from wash­ing­ton­post.com/news/ fancy-stats

Eight of baseball’s best slug­gers will square off in the 2017 Home Run Derby at Marlins Park on Mon­day. Un­der the for­mat im­ple­mented be­fore the 2015 Derby, each player will be seeded in a sin­gle-elim­i­na­tion, eight-player bracket. Bat­ters have four min­utes in each round to hit as many home runs as they can.

Here is who we think will win. Hint: It’s the same per­son you think will win.

First round: No. 1 Gian­carlo Stan­ton vs. No. 8 Gary Sanchez

Sanchez missed al­most a month with a bi­ceps in­jury, leav­ing him with just 13 home runs en­ter­ing Satur­day. Stan­ton is a home­town fa­vorite.

Pre­dicted win­ner: Sanchez, 69.3 per­cent

First round: No. 2 Aaron Judge vs. No. 7 Justin Bour

Judge leads the ma­jors in home runs (30) and slug­ging per­cent­age (.701). Bour has not hit more than 23 home runs in a sea­son and av­er­aged just 398 feet per home run.

Pre­dicted win­ner: Judge, 81.3 per­cent

First round: No. 3 Cody Bellinger vs. No. 6 Char­lie Black­mon

Bellinger has been crush­ing the ball and ap­pears poised to take ad­van­tage of the short right-field fence at Marlins Park.

Pre­dicted win­ner: Bellinger, 97.6 per­cent

First round: No. 4 Mike Mous­takas vs. No. 5 Miguel Sano

Mous­takas is hav­ing a ca­reer year, bat­ting .275 with 25 home runs and a .570 slug­ging per­cent­age.

Pre­dicted win­ner: Mous­takas, 61.5 per­cent Semi­fi­nal: Judge vs. Bellinger Judge’s home runs go longer, are hit harder and go to all fields, giv­ing him an edge even if he doesn’t get the ex­act pitch he is look­ing for.

Pre­dicted win­ner: Judge, 78.4 per­cent

Semi­fi­nal: Mous­takas vs. Sanchez

Mous­takas sets up in the bat­ter’s box four sec­onds faster than Sanchez, an ad­van­tage in a timed event in which get­ting into a rhythm could be a dif­fer­ence-maker.

Pre­dicted win­ner: Mous­takas, 53.1 per­cent Fi­nal: Judge vs. Mous­takas It’s no sur­prise to see Judge in the fi­nal round, but how much he beats Mous­takas by could be stun­ning.

Judge is bet­ter at hit­ting the ball on the sweet spot with twice as many bar­reled home runs (18) off fast­balls as Mous­takas (nine). And Judge hits those balls much harder with a faster swing speed, giv­ing him more room for er­ror in the con­test.

And we pre­dict Judge has an 88.9 per­cent chance of win­ning.

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