Bryce Harper sits atop 2018 MLB Home Run Derby odds

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Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper eyes his bat during his time at bat in the second inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins at Nationals Park in Washington, Saturday, July 7, 2018. (Susan Walsh/AP)

Bryce Harper will be aiming to atone for his loss in the final round of the 2013 Home Run Derby when he returns to the plate on Monday for this year’s edition as a solid +225 favourite on the 2018 MLB Home Run Derby odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The Washington Nationals outfielder will have the support of the home fans at Nationals Park when he kicks off the competition on Monday night with a quarter-final matchup against Freddie Freeman. Harper enters the All-Star Break tied for eighth in the majors with 23 home runs, including 11 long balls on home turf.

Currently pegged as a +1200 wager to claim NL MVP honors this season for the second time in his career, Harper also brings valuable experience at the event to the plate after going yard on 24 occasions at the 2013 MLB Home Run Derby, but falling short of eventual winner Yoenis Cespedes.

Harper is closely trailed in Home Run Derby betting by Chicago Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber, who sits at +333. Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Jesus Aguilar follows at +500, ahead of Cubs second baseman Javier Baez, who rounds out the top half of the board at +550.

Schwarber makes his Home Run Derby debut following a strong performance in the first half of the 2018 MLB season. The 25-year-old is on pace for a career year, hitting 18 home runs through 82 games to go along with 41 RBI, and sports a sparkling .992 fielding percentage. His contributions have helped the Cubs rise to the top of the NL Central standings and a strong position on the World Series odds at +700.

Baez has also contributed to the Cubs’ effort while maintaining a pace to establish new career-highs with 19 home runs and 72 RBI, while Aguilar is enjoying a breakthrough in his second full season in the majors, tallying 24 dingers and 70 RBI in 270 at-bats after hitting just 15 home runs in 279 at-bats a year ago.

On the lower half of the odds to win the Home Run Derby, Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Rhys Hoskins sits at +650, followed by Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Max Muncy at +700, and Braves first baseman Freeman at +850, while Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman lags as a +1100 longshot.

Muncy hit 13 home runs between June 3 and July 3. However, Hoskins has not gone yard during a 16-game run after hitting home runs in three consecutive contests in late June, and Freeman has hit just one home run so far in July.

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