HR Derby Contest (6/29/11)

By Paul Bessire

Wednesday, June 29 at 2:51 PM ET
As the Major League Baseball season completes its first half of the season, this week's blog will introduce our 2011 Home Run Derby contest and quickly recap June highlights from daily baseball plays.

2011 Home Run Derby Contest
Think you know long-ball hitters? Chicks dig these guys; can you pick them? "Like" us and comment on our Facebook page with your prediction for the Home Run Derby and you could win a $100 site credit.

The 2011 Home Run Derby will take place on July 11, 2011 at Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks. The event will begin at 8:00 pm ET. Participants have not yet been announced and commitments will not even start coming in until the original All-Star Game rosters are set this Sunday. To compete in the contest, please select one winner AND include the total number of home runs you predict the winner to hit. The entry from those posted on our page that selects the correct winner and gets the closest to the total will win the $100 credit (that's a full month of baseball), valid through 12/31/2011. In the event of a tie among those who have selected the correct winner, all applicable entries will earn the $100 credit (in our first contest - predicting the 2011 NFL Draft first round - there were three winners who each received a credit).

Some quick notes regarding the Home Run Derby:

  • While Chase Field consistently ranks in the top five among hitter-friendly parks in the league, it is only ninth among active parks in our overall home run factor (allowing around 16% more home runs than a neutral park).
  • Chase Field's dimensions include: 328' Deep/8'6" Wall LF, 376' Deep/10' Wall LCF, 407' Deep/25' Wall CF, 376' Deep/9'6" Wall RCF and 335' Deep/8'6" Wall RF
  • Historically, Chase Field has slightly favored left-handed power hitters, though the dimensions are actually a little deeper in right field and the edge is almost negligible.
  • David Ortiz won last year's competition in Angel Stadium with 32 total home runs. Hanley Ramirez finished second with 26 home runs.
  • Under the current competition format (five previous seasons), the average HR total for the winner is 23.4.
  • Interestingly, due to the final round head-to-head format, the player with the most total home runs has not won the event in two of the previous five seasons (Josh Hamilton in 2008 lost to Justin Morneau despite hitting 35 HR to Morneau's 22 and Vladimir Guerrero won in 2007 in San Francisco with 17 HR, while Alex Rios had 19).
  • With very little data (sorry, we don't chart every player's batting practice exploits - yet) on which to base any predictions, we will not be providing any Home Run Derby predictions this year. Instead, we will turn it over to do the predicting (for me personally, I'll disappear into the mountains to take advantage of the three days of the entire year that we don't have picks and I don't need internet access). Good luck!


Projecting the Second Half
Taking advantage of our ability to simulate the rest of the season (which we will launch as weekly free content for football season), below are the projected final regular season standings. As you can see, the most likely division winners are the Boston Red Sox, Detroit Tigers, Texas Rangers, Philadelphia Phillies, Milwaukee Brewers and San Francisco Giants, with the New York Yankees and Atlanta Braves as the most likely Wild Card winners. Four of the six division winners win by more than five games (and one of those divisions, the AL East, is extremely likely to win the Wild Card so that race does not matter as much). Ultimately, the most intriguing races are in the AL Central between Detroit, the Chicago White Sox and the Cleveland Indians and for the NL Wild Card between Atlanta and the Colorado Rockies. The NL Central could end up much closer if Albert Pujols comes back quickly and healthy and/or if a team with moveable pieces, like the Cincinnati Reds, makes a big splash in the trade market. When it is all said and done, the World Series STILL looks like a great matchup between the Phillies and Red Sox.

Projected Standings (based on rest of 2011 MLB season played 50,000 times)

AL East

Team Avg. Wins Avg. Losses
Boston Red Sox 94.9 67.1
New York Yankees 93.5 68.5
Tampa Bay Rays 85.1 76.9
Toronto Blue Jays 79.2 82.8
Baltimore Orioles 72.6 89.4

AL Central

Team Avg. Wins Avg. Losses
Detroit Tigers 86.8 75.2
Chicago White Sox 83.1 78.9
Cleveland Indians 80.6 81.4
Minnesota Twins 70.2 91.8
Kansas City Royals 63.6 98.4

AL West

Team Avg. Wins Avg. Losses
Texas Rangers 86.3 75.7
Los Angeles Angels 80.4 81.6
Seattle Mariners 77.3 84.7
Oakland Athletics 75.2 86.8

NL East

Team Avg. Wins Avg. Losses
Philadelphia Phillies 98.5 63.5
Atlanta Braves 91.7 70.3
New York Mets 79.3 82.7
Washington Nationals 78.7 83.3
Florida Marlins 72.4 89.6

NL Central

Team Avg. Wins Avg. Losses
Milwaukee Brewers 89.5 72.5
St. Louis Cardinals 84.3 77.7
Cincinnati Reds 82.3 79.7
Pittsburgh Pirates 79.1 82.9
Chicago Cubs 67.1 94.9
Houston Astros 60.1 101.9

NL West

Team Avg. Wins Avg. Losses
San Francisco Giants 92.1 69.9
Colorado Rockies 87.2 74.8
Arizona Diamondbacks 85.1 76.9
San Diego Padres 72.1 89.9
Los Angeles Dodgers 68.7 93.3

June MLB Performance Review:
Our most recent month in baseball has been on our most consistently strong, including some great performances from our best opinions. Here is a quick recap of the highlights:


  • 81.3% (13-3) "Normal" or better Money-Line and O/U plays
  • 85.7% (12-2) "Upset Watch" picks (Money-Line plays where UNDERDOG is predicted to win outright)
  • +$500 Return for all playable Money-Line plays in June (based on recommendations for a normal $50 player)
  • 54.5% All 555 Playable ML, O/U and RL* picks (*RL plays since the update 6/16)


Second half MLB packages are currently available in the Shop for $199.95 (get July, August and September for the price of just two months of baseball).

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