2018 ESPYS predictions: Tennis star Sloane Stephens is odds-on favorite to win Best Breakthrough Athlete

Tennis star and reigning U.S. Open champ Sloane Stephens, who’s currently ranked fourth in the world by the Women’s Tennis Association, now has best odds to win Best Breakthrough Athlete at the 2018 ESPY Awards. According to Gold Derby’s ESPY predictions, the 25-year-old has 10/11 odds to take home the coveted trophy, followed by Ben Simmons (Philadelphia 76ers) in second place at 3/2 odds, Donovan Mitchell (Utah Jazz) in third at 12/5 odds and Alvin Kamara (New Orleans Saints) in fourth at 27/10 odds. Find out who wins on July 18 when pro racer Danica Patrick hosts the ESPYS ceremony on ABC.

Best Breakthrough Athlete is one of the most influential categories at the ESPYS each year as it shines a spotlight on up-and-coming sports stars who’ll soon become household names. Recent winners of this prize include Dak Prescott (Dallas Cowboys) in 2017, Jake Arrieta (Chicago Cubs) in 2016, Mo’ne Davis (Little League Baseball) in 2015 and Richard Sherman (Seattle Seahawks) in 2014. Will Stephens be next to join this esteemed list?

Stephens first rose to fame at the age of 19 when she made it to the semifinals of the 2013 Australian Open, taking down superstar Serena Williams in the process. After an 11-month break due to a foot injury, Stephens returned to the court last summer and shocked everyone by winning the U.S. Open. She rose to a career-high ranking of No. 4 after making the French Open final last month, trailing only No. 1 and French Open champ Simona Halep (Romania), Australian Open champ Caroline Wozniacki (Denmark) and reigning Wimbledon champ Garbine Muguruza (Spain). Unfortunately, Stephens lost in the first round of Wimbledon on Monday.

SEE 2017 ESPY Awards winners led by Golden State Warriors, New England Patriots, Simone Biles and more

Below, see all the nominees in the seven races you can now predict at Gold Derby. To make predictions in a category, grab contenders one by one from the left column and add them to the right column by clicking on the green + symbol. Arrange according to likelihood of winning. Grab each entry and move it up or down. Make your first picks now. Change them later as often as you wish.

BEST MALE ATHLETE
Jose Altuve, Houston Astros
James Harden, Houston Rockets
Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
Tom Brady, New England Patriots

BEST FEMALE ATHLETE
Sylvia Fowles, Minnesota Lynx
Mikaela Shiffrin, Ski
Chloe Kim, Snowboard
Julie Ertz, Chicago Red Stars/United States Women’s National Soccer Team

BEST CHAMPIONSHIP PERFORMANCE
George Springer, Houston Astros – MLB World Series
Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles – Super Bowl LII
Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors – NBA Finals
Donte DiVincenzo, Villanova Men’s Basketball – CBB National Championship

SEE ESPY Awards 2017 winners: Best prediction scores by our Editors and Users

BEST BREAKTHROUGH ATHLETE
Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints
Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers
Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz
Sloane Stephens, Tennis

BEST COLLEGE ATHLETE
Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma Football
Jalen Brunson, Villanova Basketball
Katie Ledecky, Stanford Swimming
A’ja Wilson, South Carolina Basketball

BEST GAME
World Series Game 5: Houston Astros defeat Los Angeles Dodgers
Rose Bowl: Georgia Bulldogs defeat Oklahoma Sooners
Winter Olympics: USA Women’s Hockey defeats Canada

BEST TEAM
Houston Astros, MLB
Philadelphia Eagles, NFL
USA Women’s Ice Hockey
Notre Dame Fighting Irish, NCAA Women’s Basketball
Villanova Wildcats, NCAA Men’s Basketball
Golden State Warriors, NBA
Washington Capitals, NHL

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