MLB All-Star Game Betting Preview Odds and Predictions
by Robert Ferringo - 7/13/2010
Never bet against a streak.
That is a cardinal rule in sports betting. And right now there are few better examples than the Major League All-Star Game.
The American League has won 12 straight All Star contests, with their last defeat coming back in 1996 in Philadelphia. Since then the A.L. is 12-0-1 against the Senior Circuit and has simply dominated the opposition in both the Midsummer Classic and Interleague Play.
The MLB All-Star Game will take place at 8:20 p.m. EST on Tuesday, July 13. It’s being held in Angels Stadium in Anaheim. For All-Star Game odds, the American League is presently listed as a -120 favorite with the total set at 8.5. Both of those numbers have actually been bet down, from -140 and 9.5, respectively.
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Will this be the year that the National League breaks through and gets a win? That’s the question. And they were able to slim the gap in IL Play this season. But even so, the American League still was able to prove that it was “better” by taking the IL crown. The American League was 134-118 in matchups with the National League, but that included a 15-3 mark by the Chicago White Sox and a 14-4 mark from Texas. Were it not for those clubs the N.L. would have actually topped its rival.
The .532 winning percentage from the National League this year was its highest since 2004 and it marked the second straight season that the N.L. has closed the gap against the A.L. That hasn’t happened in nearly a decade.
A scan of the starting lineups really doesn’t give me a great sense of an advantage on one side or the other as far as predictions. However, I give the National League the slight edge with a bit deeper bench, in terms of hitting. There are a ton of holes on both sides, but “All Stars” like Ty Wiggington, Nick Swisher, Jose Bautista, and John Buck kind of pull the A.L. side down. Having proven winners like A-Rod, Miguel Cabrera, David Ortiz and Torii Hunter coming off the bench is a nice edge for the A.L. though.
So the American League has the edge in terms of experience and perhaps more quality. But the National League can counter with a greater quantity of talented hitters, as in Brian McCann, Ryan Howard, Adrian Gonzalez, Matt Holliday and Brandon Phillips.
But in the end, as always, it will come down to pitching. And when comparing whom each league is sending the National League has a tremendous advantage.
But last year the National League bullpen couldn’t hold onto a 3-2 lead. And as I look at their roster again this season I wonder if they have the arms in the back end to hold off the American League this year.
The National League starters are awesome. With Roy Halladay, Tim Hudson, Josh Johnson, Tim Lincecum, Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright, Yovani Gallardo and oh-by-the-way starter Ubaldo Jiminez, this team is in business. That’s at least seven innings of domination right there. But as I look through the bullpen I see a lot of leaks. Brian Wilson, Evan Meek and Matt Capps don’t inspire any confidence and, personally, I don’t know if I would use any of them in the actual game. Arthur Rhodes had a brilliant start to the year, but has had some bumps recently and, honestly, is well past any prime he had.
I suppose the Jonathan Broxton will be the Closer of Closers for the N.L. (although if I were Charlie Manual I would strongly consider using Wainwright to close; he won a World Series ring as the closer for St. Louis in 2006). But Broxton doesn’t strike fear into opposition like he may have several seasons ago.
For the American League, the starters aren’t even close in quality. David Price has had a nice year and is quality. C.C. Sabathia just threw on Sunday so he won’t get any action. Cliff Lee threw on Saturday and I’m not sure what we’ll see out of him either. Beyond that there is Jon Lester and, well, not a ton else that screams “domination”. And there are several guys (like Trevor Cahill, Fausto Carmona and Andy Pettitte) that could get lit up.
Further, the bullpen in front of Mariano Rivera is full of guys that have had really great years (I mean, they ARE All Stars) but not guys that I am afraid of if I am an N.L. hitter. Matt Thornton, Jose Valverde and Neftali Perez are all hittable. And compared to guys that the N.L. can be using in the seventh and eighth innings (like Johnson, Carpenter or Gallardo) I think it is clear that the Senior Circuit has the edge.
I think that this is finally going to be the year that the National League breaks through and gets an All Star Game victory. And in turn, this will be the first time since the rule came into play that the N.L. will earn home field advantage in the World Series (so far the A.L. is 7-for-7). I really like the price on the underdog here, despite playing in an A.L. park, and I like this spot for the National League.
But in the end you have to ask yourself: can I really bet against The Streak?
Robert Ferringo is a professional sports handicapper and one of the nation’s top baseball handicappers. He has turned a profit in three straight MLB seasons and has shown a profit in 10 of the last 14 months that he has been handicapping the sport. Check out his Insider’s Page Here.
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