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2019 MLB All-Star Game Betting Preview

mlb all-star game odds

The 2019 MLB All-Star Game is ready to take place on Tuesday, July 9 at Progressive Field, the home of the Cleveland Indians. The majors’ best and brightest get their opportunity to come together and show off their high-level skills. The American League has dominated the National League by winning the last six all-star games.

Online sportsbook Bovada has the AL as a slight -112 favorite with the NL coming back at -108. Houston’s Justin Verlander and the Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu are the starting pitchers for this game with the total opening at 8.5 runs.

Standout Stats

  • The American League has won the last six all-star games dating back to 2013 and outscored the National League 28-15 over that span. The AL is 6-0 ATS during this winning streak as well.
  • Since 2008, the total has gone UNDER in eight of the 11 games with an average combined score of 6.82. Only one game over that span featured more than 10 runs.
  • The two starting pitchers are likely to toss just an inning or maybe two before turning it over to some stacked bullpens. I give the edge to the NL as far as arms go with the likes of Mike Soroka (ATL), Jacob deGrom (NYM), Max Scherzer (WSN) and Clayton Kershaw (LAD) coming after Hyun-Jin Ryu gets relieved.
  • The AL bullpen has some elite arms early on with Verlander starting, to be followed in some order by Gerrit Cole (HOU), Lucas Giolito (CWS) and Jose Berrios (MIN). After that, I believe the AL staff is not as impressive as the NL’s.
  • I also give the nod to the NL bats, as there is plenty of power both among the starters and reserves whereas the AL starting lineup is head and shoulders above its bench reserves. Both starting lineups have two first-time all-stars: Ketel Marte (ARI) and Ronald Acuna (ATL) for the National League, and Carlos Santana (CLE) and Jorge Polanco (MIN) for the American League.
  • With the game taking place at Progressive Field, the National League will have a DH and plenty of options such as rookie Pete Alonso (NYM), who was not selected as the starting first baseman over Freddie Freeman (ATL).

My Best Bet for the 2019 All-Star Game

National League moneyline

Overall, I like the depth of the National League more than the American League. I think once the AL starters come out of the game, the momentum is going to swing more and more in favor of the NL and I think the same can be said about the pitching as the American bullpen doesn’t have the same star power that the National team does. Although the AL has simply destroyed the NL in recent memory, winning 24 of the last 31 all-star games, I think the NL is the team to back in 2019.

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
  • National League +110
  • American League -130
Odds as of July 17 Bovada