In his fourth MLB season, the 25-year-old McCutchen is hitting .362/.414/.625 as the All-Star break officially begins. McCutchen leads the major leagues in batting average – by almost 10 points – and total bases, leads the National League in slugging percentage and ranks second to only Joey Votto in OPS, while his 18 home runs place him fourth.
Quite a year he’s having.
In fact, McCutchen is having an MVP-worthy year, according to ESPN’s Jayson Stark and Dave Schoenfield, who each called No. 22 the Most Valuable Player in the NL for the first half of the season.
Tonight, McCutchen has a very good chance to set the Pittsburgh Pirates record for home runs in a Home Run Derby.
Since it was introduced in 1985, the Bucs have only had three players participate in the Derby: Bobby Bonilla in 1990, Barry Bonds in 1992 and Jason Bay in 2005.
As if that weren’t embarrassing enough, those three players have combined for a whopping two home runs during the event.
Bonilla and Bay each went homerless while Bonds hit two out of Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego.
While he may not be your average home run derby participant and is the odds-on favorite to finish last tonight, three home runs shouldn’t be too many for McCutchen to knock out of Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.
He enters the game on a bit of a hot streak power-wise, as he knocked out his 17th and 18th homers of the season yesterday, giving him three home runs in his last six games, four in his last nine and five in his last eleven.
Here are the rest of the Derby participants and their odds according to Vegas:
Jose Bautista – 3/1
Robinson Cano – 7/2
Prince Fielder – 7/2
Mark Trumbo – 5/1
Matt Kemp – 6/1
Carlos Beltran – 6/1
Carlos Gonzalez – 6/1
McCutchen – 9/1
I’m taking Beltran as my pick to win it all.
I have no secret tips or information that led me to make that pick. Just a feeling.
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