Tonight’s MLB All-Star Game between the American League and the National League at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City is a showcase for all the top talent in the MLB, but it is also an opportunity to place a few timely wagers on the only MLB game of the day during this mid-season break.
While every sportsbook has a full set of MLB odds for the game itself, we want to focus in on two of the prop bets that can add an extra bonus to your wagering activities.
Team to Score First
National League -125
American League +105
The National League has won the last two All-Star Games by a combined score of 8-2, so recent trends would suggest that this prop bet would favor the NL. However, you have to keep in mind that the American League had previously won 12 of the last 13 games with a 7-7 tie in 2002 being the only exception.
If you look back at the line score for the last 10 All-Star Games from 2002 to 2011 you will find that the AL has a clear advantage in getting on the board before the NL, having scored first in seven of the last 10 games, including the last three contests. The NL got on the board first in 2002 and did not score first again until knocking in a run in the first inning of the 2007 All-Star Game. It scored first again in 2008, but that has been it over the past 10 years. While there is no guarantee that this trend will continue, the smart play is to ride the value in the odds on the American League as the underdog.
Will there be a score in the first Inning?
The one thing about an All-Star Game is that despite the fact that each league’s lineup is loaded with the best bats in the game; the starting pitchers for each side are each coming in fired up to throw their best stuff. This year’s game features Detroit’s Justin Verlander for the American League and San Francisco’s Matt Cain for the National League as the designated starters for Tuesday night.
Verlander is 9-4 this season with a 2.58 ERA in 18 starts and has not given up more than two earned runs in seven of his last 10 outings. Cain made headlines earlier this year by recording the first perfect game in Giants’ history and just the 22nd one in the history of the Majors. He comes into this game with a record of 9-3 and an ERA of 2.62 in 17 starts. The right-hander has given up three or less earned runs in six of his last seven starts.
Once again, when you look back over the past 10 All-Star Games, the trends clearly point to a scoreless first. The 2004 Midsummer Classic yielded a total of seven runs in the first inning. The next time that either side scored in the first inning was in 2007 and the last time a run was scored in the first inning was in 2009.
Given the quality of talent that will be on the mound to start this game coupled with the trends for the past 10 years, take the risk on the money line with a play on the “NO.” The even money line on “YES” actually adds even more value to the NO side of this prop.
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