The 90th Major League All-Star Game is a great time for bettors to have a little bit of fun.
The 90th playing of the Major League All-Star Game will be hosted by the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on Tuesday with the American League (-120) looking to win their 7th straight. Betting on The Midsummer Classic, and the Home Run Derby, has become quite a popular addition to the spectacle this week in the MLB. Plus, with zero other games on until Thursday, we need something to bet on, right? So, let’s take a quick look at your best bets for American League vs National League and some tips on the Home Run Derby.
2019 All-Star Game Notes
The call to have Cleveland host was made by Rob Manfred, this will be the 6th time Cleveland has played host to the All-Star festivities, the most in MLB history. It’s also the first time since 2014 that an American League team played host, it also lines up perfectly with the 25th anniversary of Progressive Field.
Bids for the 2019 All-Star Game started back in 2014 and their selection can be attributed by 2 main factors. First off is the resurgence of the City of Cleveland downtown areas, making the area in general much nicer and welcoming to out of towners. Secondly, the recent success of the Indians organization, capped off with a 2016 World Series appearance. Manfred spoke very kindly of Cleveland saying, Cleveland’s a baseball town and it will be a great host for the Midsummer Classic.” The city of Cleveland is expected to see profits in the $60 million range.
Boston Red Sox skipper Alex Cora will manage the American League team while Dave Roberts of the LA Dodgers helms the National League squad. Carlos Santana & Shane Bieber are the only 2 starting players who call Cleveland home and will be very comfy at Progressive Field.
Notable NL participants include Nolan Arenado who has played each year since 2014, Cody Bellinger making his 2nd appearance, and young power hitters Pete Josh Bell and Pete Alonso making their All-Star game debut. The pitching staff is any batter’s worst nightmare with Clayton Kershaw, Max Scherzer, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Zack Greinke leading the change for the National League.
The AL squad is no slouch in comparison with consensus best player in the world right now, Mike Trout. Batting around him will be the Mookie Betts, Joey Gallo, Alex Bregman, Gary Sanchez, and J.D. Martinez. Justin Verlander leads another stacked bullpen with Gerrit Cole, Lucas Giolitto and Masahiro Tanaka who will be looking to add to their lead in this series with another win in 2019. One huge hit to the AL’s chances is the news that Christian Yelich will at least be sitting out the Home Run Derby with a back issue, there is really no reason for him to play in the ASG at this point.
2019 MLB All Star Game Betting
As usual the American League, with an all-time lead of 44-43-2, are favored slightly at –120 while the National League is +100 at the time of this writing. The AL is up 24-6-1 SU over the last 31 years of the All-Star game and is a great bet to do so again in 2019 despite some big bats sidelined due to injury. Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Jake Odorizzi and Marcus Stroman will not be on the roster this year due to injuries either current or former.
The MLB All-Star game is a tough nut to crack from a betting perspective. It’s hard to do make a matchup-based wagers due to both teams being straight up stacked from top to bottom. This creates issues where the players themselves aren’t the best indication of which team will play better or score more. This is largely due to the unpredictable playing time which guys get in the All-Star Game. This is after all an exhibition game and generally each player is given his time in the spotlight which makes AB’s scarce and impossible to predict. This just creates even more variance in a sport which has plenty of it to begin with.
Despite being a tough game to beat from the stance of picking a side, betting totals are a bit more straightforward and easier to predict in this game. First off is the total has not been more than 7 runs in 8 of the last 13 contests, this year’s total currently sits at 8.5. Also, worth noting is neither team has reached double digit runs since 2005 so despite the big bats, the pitching is good enough to neutralize the heavy lumber. As mentioned above, MLB Home Run leader Christian Yelich has backed out of the Home Run Derby and this might be reason enough to grab the under 8.5 before lines shift.
2019 MLB Home Run Derby Betting
It will be all about the long ball Monday night at Progressive field with the 20190 Major League Baseball Home Run Derby going live at 8pm ET. It is arguably the most popular even to take place during All-Star week and holds a strong betting market annually.
If you have not seen the Derby in a few years it’s important to mention that “outs” are no longer a thing and have been replaced by a time limit for each player. The other major difference is the creation of a head-to-head bracket format for deciding who moves onto the next rounds. This has led to more long balls since its introduction and adds another consideration when making bets on this event.
Let’s take a look at the odds to win the 2019 Home Run Derby:
Christian Yelich (MIL) +325
Josh Bell (PIT) +350
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (TOR) +450
Pete Alonso (NYM) +500
Joc Pederson (LAD) +500
Carlos Santana (CLE) +700
Matt Chapman (OAK) +800
Alex Bregman (HOU) +800
Ronald Acuña Jr. (ATL) +1000
With Yelich a late scratch from the Derby it creates a wide-open competition with the Pirates’ Josh Bell your new favorite to win at 7/2. Matt Chapman (8/1) was added to the mix after the league leader in Home Runs backed out with back issues. Rookies Vladimir Guerrero Jr and Pete Alonso will be on display to highlight the power of youth while veterans Carlos Santana and Bell look to show them that experience is king.
Guerrero might just be the most volatile pick of the litter and at 9/2 his value from a betting perspective is low. I get it, the MLB wants to show off its new toy, but Vlad Jr has gotten off to a slow start in his short career hitting just .244 with 9 home runs. Of the 7 rookies to play in the All-Star Game since 1987 six have finished in last place with the other being a win by Aaron Judge in 2017. I believe the derby will do more harm than good to the hopeful slugger and he will sit atop my fade list on Monday night.
I really like Joc Pederson in this spot based on his experience and the way he is hitting at this point in the season. Pederson and Bregman are the only entrants in this year’s Derby with past work at the event. Joc has the edge as being not only getting out of the first round but made it to the finals with a combined 39 home runs and was just beaten by Todd Frazier. At that time no rookie had won the Derby and Pederson was a single long bomb away from making history before Judge did it in 2017. At 5/1 with experience and a hot bat I feel good about his chances to add some coin to my pocket.
This is a great time for bettors to take a step back and take a breath while they have fun betting these exhibition events. As a Pay Per Head agent this is a great chance to get odds out for these two events and keep profits rolling in next week with just a single game on Thursday and nothing until then to bet on for baseball fans.