Bracketology: Home Run Derby
Yoenis Cespedes will not compete in this year's Home Run Derby after taking the crown the past two years, including last year in Minneapolis. (Drew Casey: WFUV Sports)
CINCINNATI- The 30th Home Run Derby is set to take the spotlight in Cincinnati tonight and here's what you need to know.
NEW FORMAT: Aside from being set up as a bracket, this year's event is timed. Each batter will receive five minutes in each round to hit as many home runs as possible. The clock begins when the first pitch is released. However, there are multiple ways to extend or to pause the clock in each round. Each player can use one timeout per round to stop the clock. If a home run is hit in the final minute of a round, the clock pauses until the player fails to hit a home run after swinging. An additional minute of time is added if two or more home runs are hit over 420 feet. Additionally, thirty seconds of time is added if one home run travels more than 475 feet. 90 seconds of bonus time can be earned in each round. Ties will be broken by a 90-second swingoff and if still tied, a three-swing swingoff.
BRACKET: #1 Albert Pujols vs. #8 Kris Bryant; #4 Joe Pederson vs. #5 Manny Machado- Two winners meet in semifinals
#3 Josh Donaldson vs. #6 Anthony Rizzo; #2 Todd Frazier vs. #7 Prince Fielder- Two winners meet in semifinals
Two semi-final winners meet in the finals.
*Note: Seedings were determined based on home run totals as of July 7.
WEATHER: The forecast is bad, actually very bad. You don't see a 100% chance of rain with estimates of two inches that often, but that's the prospectus for the late afternoon in Cincinnati today according to many outlets. If the travel nightmares that media colleagues sufferred this morning in Chicago, because of weather, are any indication, then we are in for a very long night. Let's hope the meteorologists got this one wrong.
PREDICTION: You can't have a bracket without a prediction. Here's the brief prediction: Pederson and Frazier in the finals: Frazier wins it- Listen to my full prediction below.