MLB All-Star Game Props Betting and Free Picks
by Trevor Whenham - 7/12/2011
Here’s a look at some of the more interesting prop bets available for tonight’s All-Star Game in Phoenix:
MVP - This one is a totally wide-open race — there is no player in the field at less than 14/1 at Bodog. I would have been tempted by Robinson Cano at 16/1, but I can’t imagine he has much left in the tank after that incredible Home Run Derby performance last night. The same goes for Adrian Gonzalez at 14/1. Justin Upton could be interesting because he is playing at home, but his price is far too low at 15/1. David Ortiz and Matt Holliday are both big-time players with power that could be flashy in this game, and both are at 20/1.
Two guys stand out from the crowd in my eyes, though — one from each league. Joey Votto is a big-time player that isn’t getting quite enough respect at 18/1, so he offers at least some comparative value. Jose Bautista is one of the favorites at 14/1, but I still think he’s attractive. He will be very frustrated by his performance in the Derby last night, and he has been red hot coming into the game. He bounces back reasonably well from frustration, and I think he could definitely go deep. He has a good head start on the field as well because he was the top vote getter.
Player to score the first run — I’m all about Rickie Weeks here — he’s at 13/2 at Bodog. The logic that I am going with is pretty simple. I think Jered Weaver is going to be overwhelmed by this situation, so I don’t expect him to be sharp early. Weeks is leading off for the NL. He is very good at getting on base at the best of times, and I think he’ll really be able to exploit Weaver here. I don’t expect Roy Halladay to be bothered at all by starting, so I think he’ll be sharp and the AL won’t score in their half.
Which team scores first — This is another chance to exploit my previous theory. 5Dimes has the AL favored at -135 with the NL at +115. I would happily bet against Jered Weaver over Roy Halladay, so I will happily take the NL and the plus-money price.
Bodog has several head-to-head contests set with the total number of hits, runs, and RBI by each player as the scoring system. Four stand out as interesting to me:
Jose Bautista (-130) vs. Prince Fielder (even) — I think Bautista is likely to get quite a bit of playing time because of his top vote total. He’s a hot hand, and he’ll be looking to make up for his performance last night, so he’ll be motivated. I would feel better if he wasn’t facing Halladay at least once, but I still think he’s the pick here.
Adrian Gonzalez (-130) vs. Matt Kemp (even) — This is a battle of strong MVP contenders. I am wildly impressed with the year that Gonzalez is having, but given the prices I have to take Kemp. The Dodger is no slouch himself, he’ll face easier pitching, and Gonzalez is going to be tired after yesterday. I give Kemp a solid edge, so this price is very attractive.
Robinson Cano (-125) vs. Matt Holliday (-105) — The logic here is the same as the last one — Holiday is no slouch, and Cano is going to be tired after last night. Holliday has a lot of comparative value.
Josh Hamilton (-115) vs. Lance Berkman (-115) — I am a huge Hamilton fan, but I have to pick Berkman here. He knows that this could easily be his last all-star appearance, so I think he’ll be playing with some urgency. He’s been playing so well this year that he is easy to trust.
Strikeouts thrown in first inning — As you can probably tell, one of my strong opinions about this game is that Roy Halladay will settle in nicely — he has been here many times before — while Weaver will be a bit wide-eyed and on edge. 5Dimes offers this bet as another way to exploit that opinion. The National League is favored here at -125, but I still think that that price is reasonable.
Pitches thrown in the first inning — Yet another way to exploit that same opinion. Halladay should be more efficient, so Weaver is attractive here — even though he is favored at -125.
Will Jose Bautista hit a home run? — Bodog offers this one with the ‘yes’ at +550. How you look at it depends on how long you think he will play. He is going deep at a rate of better than once every ten plate appearances. If you think he will stay in long enough to hit three times then there is value at this price. If he is only at the plate twice, though, then it’s pretty much a wash.
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