American League All-Stars (-103) at National League All-Stars (-117)
Man, with all these last minute injuries, they should rename it the MLB “Some-Stars Game,” am I right?
Sitting out the Mid-Summer Classic for the American League are the likes of Miguel Cabrera, Alex Gordon, and Jose Bautista, while Sonny Gray is ineligible after pitching Sunday. Meanwhile, the National League will be without the services of Giancarlo Stanton, Dee Gordon, and Matt Holliday, as well as the arm of Max Scherzer.
This news was certainly welcomed by the Brian Dozier’s, Troy Tulowitzki’s, and Brett Gardner’s of the world, but for the rest of us, it really just serves as proof that this game probably shouldn’t decide who hosts Game 1 (and, more importantly, 7) of the World Series. However, until Major League gets that message, we’ll just silently watch, hoping somebody has the balls to pull a Pete Rose and really spice things up.
Heading into this game, the National League would seem to have the advantage in pitching, but in a game where guys are going a maximum of one inning, that really doesn’t count for much. This game will be decided by the bats, where it’s tough to see a real advantage for either team, hence the close line.
Both teams have ample players who can change the game with one swing: Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, Nelson Cruz, Josh Donaldson, and Mark Teixeira are suiting up for the AL, while Bryce Harper, Todd Frazier, Nolan Arenado, Paul Goldschmidt, and Joc Pederson will be taking mighty hacks for the NL.
Betting-wise, if you like trends, the American League has won nine of the last 12 All-Star games. If you believe in homefield advantage, Great American Ball Park is home to the Reds of the National League. If you think the better manager will win, one of these men is a three-time World Series champion and won a Manager of the Year award; the other is Ned Yost. (Womp, womp.)
Ultimately, not a whole lot separates these teams and when that is the case, I pick the favorite, because I can’t make decisions for myself.
Pick: National League (-117)
(Photo Credit: Keith Allison from Owings Mills, USA (Mike Trout Uploaded by Muboshgu) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.)
Let's have fun and keep it civil.