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Home Run Derby predictions from USA TODAY Sports staffers

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The mile-high altitude of Denver's Coors Field should help provide some memorable and monstrous blasts at Monday night's All-Star Home Run Derby.

Three of the top seven home run hitters over the first half of the 2021 season will be participating -- including the overall leader, Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani.

Ohtani (33 home runs) is the No. 1 overall seed in the eight-man event, which gets underway at 8 p.m. ET. He's also the co-favorite, along with 2019 champion Pete Alonso, among USA TODAY Sports' MLB writers and editors.

Shohei Ohtani leads the major leagues in home runs (33) and slugging percentage (.698) at the All-Star break.
Shohei Ohtani leads the major leagues in home runs (33) and slugging percentage (.698) at the All-Star break.

Here are the first-round matchups, followed by our staff predictions:

No. 1 Shohei Ohtani (Angels) vs. No. 8 Juan Soto (Nationals)

No. 2 Joey Gallo (Rangers) vs. No. 7 Trevor Story (Rockies)

No. 3 Matt Olson (Athletics) vs. No. 6 Trey Mancini (Orioles)

No. 4 Salvador Perez (Royals) vs. No. 5 Pete Alonso (Mets)

And the winner is ...

Bob Nightengale: Shohei Ohtani

Gabe Lacques: Pete Alonso

Scott Boeck: Shohei Ohtani

Jesse Yomtov: Pete Alonso

Steve Gardner: Joey Gallo

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Home Run Derby predictions: Shohei Ohtani, Pete Alonso co-favorites