The Home Run Derby was awesome. I was pleasantly surprised with how entertaining it was last night as I feel the MLB is mostly out of touch when it comes to marketing and putting on fun events. With that in mind – I’m looking forward to the All-Star Game tonight.
In today’s MLB Betting, I’m going to showcase a few bets I’m looking at for tonight. I will caution that I wouldn’t go heavy on these All-Star bets as they truly are hard to nail down and the uncertainty of who will be playing makes it difficult. Let’s jump into the information and as always, you can reach me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
National League To Score First
Ok let’s just get it out of the way, the National League bat first so they obviously have the better odds of scoring first. That is part of my analysis so please feel free to thank me when you see me.
In all seriousness though, the time to get to Justin Verlander, who is starting for the American League team, is the early inning. The majority of the damage that has been done against him is the first time through the order. In this scenario, Verlander has allowed 17 runs (40% of season total) on 27 hits (36%) with 12 of those hits being home runs (46%). Verlander is dealing with some big-time power in the top of the Nationals League order with Christian Yelich, Javier Baez and Freddie Freeman scheduled to bat 1-3. If anyone gets on, Cody Bellinger steps to the plate. All of these guys have legitimate home run power and are in a favorable ballpark, as Progressive Field favors left-handed power bats.
Verlander is likely aware of this and that’s why he’s already come out to complain that the balls are juiced to help soften the blow of the runs he’s likely to allow.
National League and UNDER 8.5 parlay
I like the NL a lot in this game, which is a rarity. Both teams sport some legitimate power and the NL team is full of left-handed bats. The American League is very right-handed heavy with the exception of Carlos Santana, Michael Brantley and Jorge Polanco. I think, with that in mind, the NL will be able to generate enough offense to take this game and even up the All-Star Game record to 43 wins apiece for each league.
The under portion is the one that I’ve wrestled with the most. For the most part, the run totals in these games are relatively low. Over the last five years, the average runs per game scored were eight. The total is a bit inflated with a 14 run game last season, as, before that, the prior five years averaged only 5.8 runs per game. IS IT THE JUICED BALL LIKE VERLANDER SAID!?!? It’s possible. To be quite honest, it makes a ton of sense because the general public isn’t interested in a 2-0 game. They want excitement. Still, I have some respect for the quality of pitching this game will feature. National League and the under is the play I’m shooting for.
Staying away from pitchers as ASG MVP
This is more 0f a piece of advice than a bet to place. The reasons it came up is because, on the DraftKings Sportsbook, they have an option to bet on “Any Pitcher” for +1100. People may look at that and think it’s enticing, as it casts a large net on players who could win the award. Of the 55 MVP awards that have been given out, a pitcher has won the award only seven times, which comes out to 12%. The last time a pitcher won the award was Mariano Rivera in 2013, which was more of a goodwill award than a deserving one. The last LEGITIMATE winner was Pedro Martinez in 1999 when he struck out five of the six batters he faced through two innings.
When looking at the odds, I see some names I would much rather take beside the “Any Pitcher” bet. Two guys who are in the starting lineup like Freddie Freeman (+2000) and Javier Baez (+1800) have a legitimate chance to go yard against a starting pitcher who struggles in that realm. Same with Nolan Arenado (+1800), who is batting fifth. Truly, it all comes down to who has the timely hit to put their team ahead. A perfect example is in 2017 when Robinson Cano came off the bench to hit a home run in the 10th inning to give the AL a 2-1 win in extra innings. A home run is king in the All-Star Game.