Tuesday sees the All-Star game take centre stage, after an eventful Home Run Derby and futures game on the previous two nights. It may just be an exhibition, but there is still value to be found in the right places.
Here are Today’s MLB Picks:
National League @ American League
Over the course of the All-Star Game history the outcome of the game has been extremely even, with the American League leading the series 44-43-2. However, since 1998 the results have been extremely lop-sided. The American League, have won five in a row, 12 of the last 14, and are 24-6-1 in the last 31 meetings. Interestingly, all six of those National League victories have come in two bursts of three victories in a row, 1994-96 and 2010-12.
What does that mean for this matchup in Cleveland? Well it mostly means that the American League are slight favorites at -110, and history would suggest this is the side to be on.
1u – American League ML @ -110
In terms of totals things can be quite interesting. As always there is a ton of power in this game, given the best hitters from both leagues are lined up to take part. Interestingly, since 2006 the game has only gone into double-digits once, with an average of 6.84 runs per game. However, with the way the ball has been flying out of the park this season, and with starters having to come out of the bullpen in an unnatural role there should be the chance for plenty of runs.
The first innings sees Justin Verlander and Hyun-Jin Ryu go head to head. These two have been superb this season, although Verlander has struggled a little more recently. However, he has not allowed a run in the first innings of his last three outings. Ryu for his part has a 1.73 ERA on the season, and it is only that high because the Rockies took him for seven runs on nine hits in Colorado.
This feels like a game which sees a blanked first innings before things go a little bit crazy later in the game.
1u – First Innings Under 0.5 Runs @ -111
1u – Over 9 Total Runs @ +110
The final bet is to look at the potential for the MVP of the game. A pitcher has been the MVP in just one game since the turn of the Millennium. Even then that was largely a ceremonial award for Mariano Rivera on his MLB farewell tour. Pitchers have very little impact on the game as they usually pitch just one or two innings at most. Mike Trout is the clear favorite but looking a little deeper some intriguing names include Daniel Vogelbach at +8000 and Max Muncy at +4000. In a game I expect to be decided late there is every chance a hitter off the bench could decide this game, especially one with the ability to clear the fences easily. That line of thinking leads me to the power hitter from Texas Joey Gallo at a juicy +5000. Gallo is having a fantastic season, with a .275 batting average and already has 20 home runs despite missing time through injury.
0.5u – Joey Gallo +6600
0.5u – Daniel Vogelbach +8000
By Ben Rolfe