Las Vegas Sun

July 18, 2019

Currently: 85° — Complete forecast

Vegas Play of the Day: Home Run Derby

The sixth season of the annual Play of the Day betting competition between the Sun's sports staff is now underway, effective July 1.

Bankrolls start at $10,000 for each of the four participants, with the objective to increase it as much as possible over the next year. The minimum daily wager is $300, with a $200 penalty assessed for failing to place a bet on an assigned day.

Past winners are Case Keefer in 2018-19 and 2017-2018, Ray Brewer in 2016-2017 and 2015-2016, and Taylor Bern in 2014-2015.

Home Run Derby — Vladimir Guerrero Jr. plus-375: $300 to win $1,125

Admittedly, this may be wishful thinking on my part.

Baseball has a bit of a branding problem. Its two biggest stars are Mike Trout, who leads the American League in dingers, and Bryce Harper, who did not make the All-Star Game. Neither are in the Derby.

Christian Yelich is a budding superstar and he had to pull out. There's a real chance that someone who doesn't follow baseball might not recognize one Derby participant.

So let us all appreciate what Guerrero is and what he can be. He's a 20-year-old megastar in the making, and tonight could be his coming-out party. Sure he has only eight homers this year, but have you seen some of these homers? Dude does not hit wall-scrapers.

Guerrero Jr. isn't the favorite to win, but he's not that far behind. And if he does, there might not be a sports fan anywhere who doesn't know his name.

Current Standings: Grimala (1-0, $10,000), Brewer (0-0, $10,000), Emerson (0-0, $9,600), Keefer (1-2, $8,520)