Well, we didn’t hit on EVERY SINGLE round of the Homerun Derby this year, but we did win when it mattered – in the end, as our pick cashed a winning ticket for the second year in a row. This time it was Giancarlo Stanton holding off the defending champ Todd Frazier with a massive 20 homeruns in the final round to put too much cushion between he and Frazer who was unable to muster up his customary flair for the dramatic.
The pick last night, as I stated in the column, was more of a recreational wager, but it is still nice to be on the winning side of a +350 line. I’ve got nothing so dramatic in store this evening, but let’s dive into a run total play for tonight’s installation of the Midsummer’s Classic.
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MLB All Star Game Pick:
American League All Stars -105 at National League All Stars -115 (Total: 7.5)
Chris Sale and Johnny Cueto will get the ball for their respective clubs, but I didn’t formally list them as the pitchers with stats, because, frankly, in an All Star Game, it really isn’t about the starting pitcher (unless you give up four in the first frame like Verlander a few years back). The game is really about depth, especially in the pitching rotations. Years past have been controlled by the army of hard-throwing pitchers each team can trot out relentlessly but will this year be different?
The biggest difference this year might be who IS and who IS NOT pitching. No Arrieta, Kershaw or Bumgarner for the National League, all are either injured or resting. I would be surprised to see Strasburg or Syndergaard either, given recent injury concerns, but it is possible. On the American League side, the names are less glamorous with some unfamiliar faces making All Star debuts. Branch, Britton, Colome, Will Harris, Danny Salazar, Aaron Sanchez and Steven Wright – not that all aren’t excellent, but this isn’t the David Price/Justin Verlander/Felix Hernandez/Max Scherzer/Mariano Rivera staff of a few years back in terms of star power.
The arms are still there. And Petco is a pitcher-friendly ballpark. But I have a feeling the offenses finally get the job done this season. Three of the last four games have gone over 7.5 runs, albeit barely, after a string of low-scoring affairs from 2008-2011. The American League has won three straight games, snapping the NL’s three game winning streak (after more than a decade of futility) The lines are accordingly pretty even tonight.
My favorite play is OVER 7.5. I think each offense is good for at least three runs tonight with one side picking up a few extra. It may not come via the longball, but expect some guys to get on base as they are spared the endless parade of Cy Young winners they have faced in year’s past.
If you are looking for some fun longer shot prop bets, Mike Trout is the two time reigning All Star Game MVP and is a 9/1 favorite to repeat the feat a third time. Wil Myers is a nice value at 20/1, given that he is batting fourth and playing at home, which makes him one of the more obvious candidates to get a fourth at bat. And of course, don’t ignore sentiment and it’s role in the MVP ballot. Mariano Rivera and Cal Ripken have ridden off into the sunset in ASG MVP fashion. Big Papi is a 9/1 value to do the same tonight.
Enjoy the Game! Hopefully we can get some runs and another winner, but remember, this is an exhibition game and should be treated accordingly with wagering units.