2022 MLB Home Run Derby: Participants and bracket for Dodger Stadium All-Star Game event

The eight-player bracket for the 2022 Home Run Derby was released Thursday by Major League Baseball.

Headlining the competition is New York Mets star Pete Alonso, who is seeking a three-peat after winning the last two contests in 2021 and 2019. (The 2020 Home Run Derby was not staged due to the COVID-19 pandemic.) Should he bring home another crown, Alonso will join Baseball Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. as the only three-time winners in the home run hitting exhibition.

A quick look at all eight contestants and the first-round matchups for the 2022 Home Run Derby at Los Angeles' Dodger Stadium:

(All stats entering play Thursday.)

No. 1 Kyle Schwarber vs. No. 8 Albert Pujols

The teams: Schwarber (Phillies); Pujols (Cardinals).

The stats: Schwarber has hit 28 home runs this season. Pujols has hit six home runs.

Somewhat surprisingly, Pujols has never won the Home Run Derby in four previous attempts despite the fact he's fifth on the all-time list with 685 career dingers. In what is widely expected to be his final MLB season, he gets another day in the spotlight and a chance to compete against Schwarber, the National League's home run leader.

The winner will face the winner of...

No. 4 Juan Soto vs. No. 5 Jose Ramirez

The teams: Soto (Nationals); Ramirez (Guardians).

The stats: Soto has hit 19 home runs this season. Ramirez has hit 17 home runs.

The pair of homegrown stars have consistently been some of the best hitters in the game: The sweet-swinging Ramirez leads the AL in doubles and RBI; Soto leads the NL in walks. The 23-year-old Nationals phenom with plenty of power hit 31 homers in last year's first round before falling to Alonso in the second.

No. 2 Pete Alonso vs. No. 7 Ronald Acuna Jr.

The teams: Alonso (Mets); Acuna (Braves).

The stats: Alonso has hit 23 home runs this season. Acuna has hit eight home runs.

The two-time defending Home Run Derby champ has an intriguing first-round matchup with NL East foe Acuna, the Atlanta star who got a delayed start to the season as he worked his way back from an ACL tear that sidelined him for the Braves' World Series run.

Pete Alonso will try to win his third consecutive Home Run Derby title.
Pete Alonso will try to win his third consecutive Home Run Derby title.

The winner will face the winner of...

No. 3 Corey Seager vs. No. 6 Julio Rodriguez

The teams: Seager (Rangers); Rodriguez (Mariners).

The stats: Seager has hit 21 home runs this season. Rodriguez has hit 15.

Seager, in his first season with the Rangers after signing a massive 10-year deal, leads all MLB shortstops in homers. He'll face off with Rodriguez, a 21-year-old who is the only rookie taking part in the MLB All-Star Game.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Home Run Derby 2022 participants: Bracket and first round matchups