Major League Baseball’s All-Star Break is upon us, and the American League is a slight Sports Interaction betting favourite over the National League for Tuesday night’s Midsummer Classic from Washington, D.C.
If we’re being honest, most All-Star Games are rather boring because the vast majority of guys aren’t giving anywhere close to 100 percent and there’s almost no defence played. For example, this year’s NBA All-Star Game had a final score of 148-145. You aren’t going to see a score like that in a regular game unless it goes to several overtimes.
All-Star Game Background
It is fair to say that the Major League Baseball All-Star Game is the most competitive of the four major U.S. sports leagues and has the most tradition. You may be old enough to remember (if not, I recommend YouTubing it) ultra-competitive Pete Rose barreling over catcher Ray Fosse at the 1970 All-Star Game. Fosse was really never the same player after that.
It’s the first time the All-Star Game is being held in Washington, D.C., at least as the Nationals franchise. It was held in D.C. in 1937 & ’56 when that team was the Senators. Of course, the Nationals used to be the Montreal Expos. They hosted the 1982 game won by the National League. Toronto hosted the event in 1991, won by the AL.
No Blue Jay has ever won All-Star Game MVP honors. The franchise’s lone player in this year’s game is J.A. Happ, and he’s not expected to still be a member of the Blue Jays by the night of July 31, which is the non-waiver trade deadline. It would be an upset if Happ isn’t traded. The Jays have had a few winning pitchers in this game: Dave Stieb (1983), Jimmy Key (1991) and B.J. Ryan (2006). Stieb (1984) is the only Blue Jays pitcher to be saddled with the loss in the game.
Last year, Commissioner Rob Manfred changed the awarding of home-field advantage in the World Series to the team with the best overall regular-season record in the Fall Classic. Former Commissioner Bud Selig had given it to the winning league of the All-Star Game following an embarrassing tie in 2002. Here’s a closer look at Sports Interaction’s current odds for the 2018 MLB All-Star game.
ASG Is Deadlocked
The AL and NL have each won the All-Star Game 43 times with two ties. The Junior Circuit has won the past five. Last year, it was 2-1 in 10 innings in Miami, the first extra-inning ASG since 2008. Extra innings are the last things a manager wants to see in his game because he might run out of players as happened in the 2002 tie. They try to get everyone in the game if possible. The managers this year are A.J. Hinch of Houston and Dave Roberts of the L.A. Dodgers. The honor goes to the managers of the previous year’s pennant-winning clubs. It’s the first time for both.
Because it’s in the NL park, the Senior Circuit is the home team – but a DH is used regardless. The AL does appear to have the edge in star power, led by the incomparable Mike Trout of the Angels. He’s the favourite to win yet another regular-season MVP Award and will be a favourite for this game’s MVP as well. Trout won the All-Star Game MVP in both 2014 & ’15. He’s joined in the starting lineup by the likes of Houston’s Jose Altuve (last year’s regular-season AL MVP), Baltimore’s Manny Machado (another lock to be traded by Jul 31), the Yankees’ Aaron Judge, and Boston’s Mookie Betts (the MLB batting leader) and J.D. Martinez (tied for MLB home run lead).
NL starters are led by Washington’s Bryce Harper, in probably his final All-Star Game as a National as he’s expected to sign elsewhere as a free agent this winter, Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman, Colorado’s Nolan Arenado and the Chicago Cubs’ Javier Baez. The lone Canadian player in the game is Reds first baseman and Toronto native Joey Votto, in his sixth All-Star Game.
As of this writing, the managers haven’t named the starting pitchers. They are likely to be the Yankees’ Luis Severino and Nationals’ Max Scherzer. You won’t see any pitcher go more than two innings. Scherzer started last year’s game and was the winning pitcher in the 2014 version while with the Tigers.
All-Star Game Predictions
AL wins 3-2 with Altuve as MVP.