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2018 MLB All-Star Game Betting Preview

Odds for the 2018 Major League Baseball All-Star Game have hit the board and the home National League squad is a +120 underdog, with the American League coming in at -140. This has been an evenly matched series since its incarnation in 1933, with the overall series at 43-43-2, but the AL enters this year’s Midsummer Classic on a five-game win streak, while also winning an amazing 17 of the last 21.

SHARK BITES
  • The American League is 8-1 in the last nine all-star games in National League ballparks.
  • Only two pitchers since 1987 have been named all-star game MVP — Pedro Martinez and Mariano Rivera.
  • The American League is 23-6-1 in the last 30 all-star games.

How to handicap an all-star game

Trying to find a betting edge in the MLB All-Star Game isn’t easy, especially when we have no indication on how long players will stay in the game. It’s also fair to assume some players won’t be very motivated, considering this is an exhibition game with nothing on the line. However, if you’re going with the trends, you’re clearly going to place a bet on the American League, which has dominated the game for two decades.

A good argument can also be made that the AL has the more talented roster, but is there value on the NL at plus-money? Considering the unknowns of which players will be active and the questionable enthusiasm of some players, I think the odds should be closer to a pick’em so, yes, I see some value in betting on the National League.

For a second straight year, the starting pitching matchup will be Chris Sale vs Max Scherzer, who will have the luxury of pitching in his home ballpark. For what it’s worth, and maybe it’s not a whole lot, Scherzer has been lights-out in past all-star game appearances, allowing zero runs, just two hits and six strikeouts in four innings. He’s been sensational pitching at Nationals Park this season, holding batters to a .166 average.

As for Sale, who will be starting his third straight all-star game, he’s allowed two earned runs and seven hits with seven strikeouts in seven innings of previous all-star work. He’s been absolute dynamite outside of Boston this season, posting a 2.26 ERA with 114 strikeouts to just 17 walks.

Low-scoring games are the norm in the all-star game

Most assume extremely high-scoring games is a common characteristic of an all-star game, and it is in most other leagues, but this isn’t the case for MLB. In all-star game history, the average combined score is 8.20, while the total hasn’t reached double digits since 2005. Over that 12-year period, the game has an average combined score of 6.25 runs. With the total for the 2018 game set at 7, bettors will be interested to know that eight of the last 12 all-star games have finished with seven or fewer combined runs.

Find value with a runline bet

If you have your side selected, recent trends also show you might want to up the ante, and grab that team on the -1.5 runline as seven of the last eight all-star games have been decided by two runs or more. Over at Bovada, you can get the AL -1.5 at +105 while the NL -1.5 is available at +195.

2018 Major League Baseball All-Star Game Odds

Odds as of July 17 Bovada

  • American League -130
  • National League +110

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