The eyes of the sports world will be on Progressive Field in Cleveland, OH this evening for the 2019 edition of the MLB All-Star Game. This will be the 90th time that competing squads from the American League and National League have squared off in a game which has also come to be known as the Midsummer Classic.
This contest marks the midway point of the MLB season. On the American League side, the New York Yankees, Minnesota Twins, and Houston Astros have established themselves as clear division leaders. While anything can happen down the stretch run of the season, it looks like there may be more intrigue in the battle for Wild Card berths.
Over in the National League, it’s a similar story with the Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers in their respective divisions. An intriguing race is underway in the NL Central, with the Chicago Cubs leading the Milwaukee Brewers by just a half-game. That one could go down to the wire, and the St. Louis Cardinals may also have something to say about how things shake out.
It shapes up to be an exciting second-half of the season. If last night’s Home Run Derby is any indication, we can say the same about tonight’s All-Star Game. In the final round of the derby, Pete Alonso was able to put away Vladimir Guerrero Jr. for the crown. Both men put on memorable performances last night, and we can say the same about a number of the other participants in the exciting event.
On the scoring front, total runs scored for this game were slightly muted for a few years there, but that certainly wasn’t the case last year. The two squads combined for 14 total runs in 2018, an 8-6 victory for the American League in the nation’s capital at Nationals Park. Should we expect more fireworks tonight or is another low-scoring affair on tap?
To kick things up a notch for this evening’s festivities, we can combine our pick on the side with our choice on run totals for a single-game parlay ticket. Let’s take a look at what the MLB betting sites have to say, followed by a closer look at what each squad brings to the table for tonight’s tilt.
National League vs. American League, 7:30 PM EST, FOX
Betting odds provided by: Sportsbetting.ag
National League vs. American League Pick:
The American League is riding a six-game winning streak for this annual affair. The run started with a 3-0 victory back in 2013 at Citi Field in New York and was extended with last year’s two-run win. All told, the AL has outscored the NL by a combined 28-15 over that span.
The high water mark for total runs was reached in last year’s 14-run contest. The low mark of three runs has been hit twice – the aforementioned 2013 game, and the 2017 contest which was contested at Marlins Park in Miami.
The average for total runs over the last six games is a shade over seven. On the whole, the winner of the All-Star Game has been very streaky over the past few decades with both sides having lengthy winning streaks.
Prior to the AL’s recent run of dominance, the NL won three in a row from 2010 through 2012 by a combined score of 16-2. The average total runs for those three games was six on the nose.
National League All-Star Game Starters and Reserves
As you would expect, both sides are loaded with a ton of firepower. Here’s a look at the starters on the NL side.
At the top of the list for the NL are the current leaders in the clubhouse for the MVP award. Cody Bellinger is hitting the tar out of the baseball for the Dodgers. He’s batting .329 with 31 homers, 67 ribbies, and a slugging percentage of .707.
Christian Yeloch is doing the same as he leads the way on offense for the Brewers. He has 30 HRs and 71 RBIs thus far with a .336 BA and an OPS of 1.124. Other notables who could be in the MVP conversation when all is said and done this season include Braves 1B Freddie Freeman.
Here are the NL reserves for tonight’s game.
There won’t be much dropoff on offenses once the benches get involved tonight. Home Run Derby winner Alonso has 30 dongs and 61 RBIs on the year. Josh Bell is quietly having a stellar year with a .302 BA, 27 homers, and 84 RBIs.
American League All-Star Game Starters and Reserves
There’s plenty to love on the AL side at the plate as well. Here are the starters for the side which is riding a lengthy winning streak.
Mike Trout is having an MVP-caliber season for the Angels. He’s batting .301 with 28 HRs, 67 RBIs, and an OPS of 1.098. Alex Bregman is among many Astros who are having fine seasons. He has 23 homers and 56 ribbies thus far.
Gary Sanchez has been a force for the AL East-leading Yankees. He’s third in the league in homers with 24. Sanchez has done that in 261 at-bats while the rest of the Top 5 in dongs all have over 300 ABs on the season.
Here’s a look at the reserves on the AL side.
Among the notables here are: Jose Abreu. He’s batting .278 with 21 homers and 66 ribbies for the White Sox, and Matt Chapman is having himself a solid year for the Athletics. He has 21 HRs and 52 RBIs with a .887 OPS this year.
National League All-Star Game Pitchers
While the offenses are loaded on both sides, the same can be said for the pitching staffs.
Hyun-Jin Ryu will get the start for the NL. He’s 10-2 on the year with a 0.91 WHIP and 1.73 ERA. Luis Castillo brings a 2.29 ERA and 8-3 record to the table, while Max Scherzer is 9-5 with a 2.30 ERA for the year-to-date.
Among the studs in the bullpen are Kirby Yates of the Padres. He leads the NL with 30 saves this season. Yates has a WHIP of 0.79 and a 1.15 ERA through 39 innings pitched. Will Smith has 23 saves and a 1.98 ERA for the Giants.
American League All-Star Game Pitchers
Here are the arms on the AL side of the equation.
Justin Verlander will be first up for the AL. He’s 10-4 with a 0.81 WHIP and 2.98 ERA this season. Charlie Morton is 10-2 with a 2.32 ERA for the Rays. Mike Minor checks in with a mark of 8-4 with a 2.54 ERA and 1.03 WHIP.
Among the relievers who have made the cut for this year’s game are Aroldis Chapman of the Yankees. He has 24 saves and a 1.82 ERA thus far. Brad Hand of the Indians has 23 saves and a 2.17 ERA so far over 37.1 innings pitched.
All-Star Game History
The AL leads the all-time series with a record of 44-43-2. As mentioned up above, results from these games have been streaky. The NL was dominant through the 1970s and into the early 1980s.
Wins and losses were traded for a few years, but the AL has established its dominance since then. Going back to 1988, the AL has 24 victories versus six for the NL and one tie over that span.
The last two All-Star Games have needed extra innings to decide things, so hopefully, we’ll see another competitive affair tonight. We have a sneaky suspicion that we’ll see plenty of runs tonight, as the baseball has seemed rather lively overall this season.
In the end, we’ll be looking for the NL to halt the AL’s winning streak and for the Over to be hit on total runs scored.