Courtesy of StepOutside.org

Bell early-line favorite in Home Run Derby

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Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Josh Bell (55) – MATT SUNDAY / DKPS

Josh Bell is favored to win the All-Star Home Run Derby, at least in the eyes of some oddsmakers

BetOnline (www.BetOnline.ag) has installed Bell as the 3-1 choice to win the event, which will take place Monday night at Progressive Field in Cleveland. Brewers right fielder Christian Yelich is the second choice at 7-2.

A pair of rookies -- the Mets’ Pete Alonso and Blue Jays’ Vladimir Guerrero Jr. – both have 5-1 odds. Listed at 8-1 is Braves center fielder Ronald Acuna Jr., while Dodgers left fielder Joc Pederson and Indians first baseman Carlos Santana are 9-1 shots and Astros third baseman Alex Bregman is at 10-1.

Bell is a minus-160 (5/8) favorite over Acuna in their first-round matchup. Acuna is plus-130 (13/10).

The other matchups feature Yelich (minus-150, 2/3) against Guerrero (plus-130, 6/5), Alonso (minus-200, ½) opposing Santana (plus-160, 8/5) and Bregman (minus-130, 10/13) versus Pederson (even, 1/1).

Bell has hit 27 home runs in 86 games this season, which is already a career high. He leads the major leagues with 30 doubles and 84 RBIs to go with a .308/.380/.662 triple-slash line. Acuna has homered 20 times in 88 games while hitting .291/.373/.500.

If Bell defeats Acuna, he would face the winner of the Alonso-Santana matchup in the semifinals. In 87, games, Alonso has 29 home runs and a .281/.373/.634 triple-slash line. Santana, the hometown favorite in the event, has 19 homers in 85 games while hitting .302/.420/.528.

Bell will be the first Pirates player to participate in the Derby since Pedro Alvarez in 2013 and Andrew McCutchen in 2012. Both Alvarez and McCutchen were eliminated in the first round.

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