It’s time for Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game and while these types of events are usually a good time for bettors to take a couple of days off, baseball’s version of the game actually has something at stake, so it’s worth looking at. The winner gets home-field advantage in the World Series, so – as per usual – expect more effort in this game than you would in the All-Star Game of any of the other major sports.
There have been some clear trends in recent All-Star games and we’re going to ride them on Tuesday. Here’s a look at the side, total and a pick for MVP.
American League vs National League – Best Pick
The National League had won three in a row over the American League until last year when the AL won 3-0. Overall, though, this has been a very one-sided series in favor of the AL. They’ve won 13 of the last 17 meetings with, of course, one infamous tie back in 2002. Going even further back, the AL’s won 19 of the last 26 meetings.
It’s hard to breakdown the lineup-for-lineup because both teams are chalk-full of, well, All-Stars. That being the case, we’ll stick with history and lean with the AL at -108.
Pick: AL -108
AL-NL All-Star Game RUN Total
The general assumption with All-Star games in the four major sports is that there’s going to be plenty of scoring. In the NHL, NFL and NBA, that’s true. The lone ranger that doesn’t fall into that category is the MLB All-Star Game. We’re faced with a total of 7.5 for the 2014, which is pretty low for baseball standards.
What might surprise you is that five of the last six All-Star games have stayed under that number and the lone one that went over was the 8-0 result in 2012. Generally speaking, the Midsummer Classic has been a pitcher’s duel over the last six years. We can’t really handicap based on matchups since there are so many changed variables in terms of the rosters, so based on history, the best pick on the total is the under.
Pick: Under 7.5
All-Star Game MVP
Sticking with the theme, if we’re banking on an American League, the MVP is likely to come from their side of the lineup. There’s some good options to pick from, such as Derek Jeter. It’s his last hurrah, so it wouldn’t be a shock to see if he got the emotional vote even if someone else has slightly better numbers.
Mariano Rivera was in that boat last year when he won the MVP, and he didn’t even get a save. Jeter is hitting leadoff and should get at least a couple of opportunities at the plate. He’s the favorite at 5/1.
As a secondary play, Mike Trout could be a good option for a small play. He’s 14/1 to win MVP, but he’s been quite hot of late. He batted .361 with seven home runs in June, and he’s already jacked four shots in July.
Pick: Jeter 5/1 & Trout 14/1