The National League has not won the All-Star Game since 2012 in Kansas City. Perhaps playing it this year in the home of its best team, the Los Angeles Dodgers, will turn the tide. With five Dodgers on the home side, including three members of their impressive rotation, the local club has a big hand in tipping the MLB All-Star Game Odds in favor of the NL.
Let’s take a look at a few factors driving the action at the sportsbook.
All-Star Game Information
- Matchup: American League at National League
- Location: Dodger Stadium
- Television: FOX
American League Lineup Boasts Big Advantage
Okay, there are stars everywhere. Great players at every position. But there just seems to be a little extra something on the AL side when looking at the lineups. That should impact your thinking when glancing at the MLB All-Star Game odds.
Aaron Judge is on a torrid pace for the New York Yankees, leading the majors in home runs (33) and runs scored (74, 10 more than anyone else). He’s in an outfield Tuesday night with teammate Giancarlo Stanton (24 homers) and Byron Buxton (23).
Compare that to the NL’s starting outfield consisting of a struggling Mookie Betts not far removed from a cracked rib, a slumping Ronald Acuna Jr. having some issues in his return from an ACL tear, and a nowhere-to-be-seen Joc Pederson (5-for-38 without a homer in July), and it feels like a massive mismatch.
When you consider that Shohei Ohtani is the AL’s starting designated hitter and William Contreras will fill that role for the NL, the imbalance is even more pronounced.
The junior circuit also boasts Rafael Devers at third base, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. at first base, and first-time All-Star Alejandro Kirk, a .315 hitter, behind the plate. Manny Machado, not far removed from a sprained ankle and batting .208 in July, is the biggest remaining star in the NL’s starting lineup.
Most of these guys get an at-bat or two (or maybe three), so comparing lineups is a bit silly; however, those engaging in MLB All-Star betting have to contemplate the sheer awesomeness of the AL bats.
Dodgers Lead National League’s Impressive Pitching Staff
Tony Gonsolin or Clayton Kershaw will likely be rewarded with the starting nod for the NL, giving them a chance to open the Midsummer Classic in their home stadium. Tyler Anderson, another Dodgers pitcher, was added to the roster over the weekend as a replacement.
Gonsolin is 11-0 with a 2.01 ERA – second-lowest in the NL – and his LA teammates Kershaw (7-2, 2.13 ERA) and Anderson (10-1, 2.96) have been nearly as good. The trio tops a staff for manager Brian Snitker that also boasts NL ERA leader Sandy Alcantara.
The MLB All-Star Game odds, which have the NL at -111 on the moneyline, are more a reflection of the Senior Circuit’s relative advantage on the mound. Consider also that after Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole elected not to participate, the AL was left with six first-time All-Stars among its starting pitchers.
The only AL starting pitcher with previous experience in the event is Ohtani. He’s also in the game as a DH, so it’s not a given that Dusty Baker will call on the two-way star to get some outs on the mound.
That leaves the AL running through names like Paul Blackburn, Framber Valdez, and Martin Perez once it gets past likely starter Shane McClanahan.
Who Has the Edge?
It’s impossible to know how Snitker and Baker will utilize their rosters. Half the guys are just hoping to get in a few hacks and then enjoy two days off with their families before the second half begins.
One item to consider when glancing at the MLB games fixtures at the sportsbook and ruminating over the MLB All-Star Game odds is the fact that these are usually low-scoring affairs. Fourteen of the last 15 have had fewer than 10 runs scored and neither side has reached double digits in scoring since 1998 (at Coors Field, naturally).
The AL has just enough big boppers to get some runs on the board at some point, perhaps after Alcantara and a Dodger or two are gone. And it has a real weapon if and when it’s time to close things out in the form of dominant Yankee Clay Holmes, whose sinker will carve up NL hitters who have yet to see him.
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