- Can Mike Trout become the first player in MLB history to win three All-Star Game MVP awards?
- Will the American League make it six straight against the National League?
- Will Yankees slugger Aaron Judge have the biggest blast of the night?
All eyes will be on Washington on Tuesday, July 17th, when Major League Baseball hosts its 88th annual All-Star Game at Nationals park.
What ought to be a neck-and-neck battle between the best-of-the-best in the bigs has, strangely, been dominated by the American League in recent history.
This year, two-time ASG MVP Mike Trout leads another stacked group of AL mashers into the Midsummer Classic, while the NL will counter with one of the best pitching staffs ever assembled, led by two-time reigning Cy Young-winner Max Scherzer, who’s likely to get the start in his home park.
Below, find the odds for all the All-Star Game angles, culminating with props for the Home Run Derby, which will kick off the ASG festivities on Monday, July 16th.
Odds to win the 2018 MLB All-Star Game
It’s no secret that the American League has won two of the last three World Series and that AL clubs routinely dominate Interleague play. However, you may not know that the American League has also won five straight All-Star Games and 12 of the last 15. The Junior Circuit’s superior depth and star power gives them the edge once again in 2018.
All-Star Game MVP odds
|Mike Trout (American League)||7/2|
|Mookie Betts (American League)||4/1|
|Freddie Freeman (National League)||6/1|
|Aaron Judge (American League)||7/1|
|Bryce Harper (National League)||10/1|
|Jose Altuve (American League)||15/1|
|Max Scherzer (National League)||20/1|
|Nolan Arenado (National League)||25/1|
Mike Trout is presently tied with Willie Mays, Steve Garvey, Gary Carter, and Cal Ripken Jr. for most All-Star Game MVP awards, but that could change very soon.
The 26-year-old outfielder is leading the American League in WAR, walks, and onbase percentage and has historically saved some of his best performances for the Mid-Summer Classic. He was especially brilliant in 2015, as he finished 1–for–3 with a home run, two runs, an RBI and a walk.
Don’t sleep on Max Scherzer and Bryce Harper. Both players will be playing in their home ballpark and are sure to receive an extra boost from the many Nationals fans in attendance.
Odds to not appear in the All-Star Game
|Aroldis Chapman (American League/Yankees)||3/5|
|Joe Jimenez (American League/Tigers)||1/1|
|Kenley Jansen (National League/Dodgers)||3/2|
|Miles Mikolas (National League/Cardinals)||2/1|
|Jean Segura (American League/Mariners)||4/1|
|Jesus Aguilar (National League/Brewers)||4/1|
|Mitch Haniger (American League/Mariners)||4/1|
|Ozzie Albies (National League/Braves)||5/1|
Last year, only five available players didn’t make an appearance thanks to the game going into extras. Relief pitchers are always the most likely to stay on the pine, and Joe Jimenez is unquestionably the most questionable All Star pitcher this season, only making the squad because of the MLB rule that every team must be represented.
Jansen and Chapman are two of the best in the business, but their status as closers means that they may only be called upon in a save opportunity, and there’s certainly no guarantee of that for either side.
Odds to hit the longest home run
|Aaron Judge (American League)||7/1|
|Mike Trout (American League)||9/1|
|JD Martinez (American League)||9/1|
|Freddie Freeman (National League)||10/1|
|Bryce Harper (National League)||10/1|
There’s no shortage of sluggers on this year’s All-Star squads, but our money is on 2017 Home Run Derby champion Aaron Judge, who is tied for second in the AL in home runs and is averaging a gaudy 398.5-feet on his blasts this season. Few players are better at turning an inside fastball into a free trip around the bases.
Also keep an eye on Trout, who hit an epic 524-foot tater in May against the Orioles. It was, without question, the biggest blast of his career, and one of the most impressive power displays from any player this season.
Over/Under total runs: 5.5
Good pitching generally beats good hitting, which is one reason why the last ten All-Star Games have averaged just 5.8 runs per game. Expect that trend to continue this year as Max Scherzer, Jacob deGrom, Chris Sale, and Corey Kluber fill the scoreboard with a succession of zeroes.
The under has cashed in ten of the last 12 games (10-1-1).
It’s worth noting that the run line established by most bookmakers for the All-Star Game is usually overly optimistic. The under has cashed in ten of the last 12 games (10-1-1).
Odds to start the All-Star Game
Major League Baseball will have a rebellion on its hands if it doesn’t allow Scherzer to start in his home ballpark. This decision was made weeks ago.
American League skipper AJ Hinch will have his hands full trying to decide who will start the All-Star Game. Should he go with Luis Severino, who leads the league in wins with 14? Should he tab Chris Sale, who’s tops in strikeouts with 176? Or should he give the ball to Corey Kluber, who has walked just 15 batters in 126.1 innings pitched?
Our hunch is that Severino will get the nod based upon recent results. The 24-year-old right hander has won his last five starts and looked absolutely sensational in a two-hit shutout of the Red Sox on July 1st.
All-Star Game winning pitcher odds
|Corey Kluber (American League)||5/2|
|Chris Sale (American League)||4/1|
|Gerrit Cole (American League)||9/2|
|Trevor Bauer (American League)||8/1|
|Max Scherzer (National League)||11/1|
|Jacon deGrom (National League)||15/1|
The winning pitcher in the All-Star Game is rarely the starter, so that dramatically lessens the odds that Max Scherzer or Luis Severino will pick up the “W”. It’s far more likely that honor will go to Indians ace Corey Kluber or Red Sox fireballer Chris Sale, who are likely to find themselves in the right place at the right time.
Over/Under number of strikeouts by Max Scherzer: 2.5
Scherzer recorded a pair of strikeouts in his lone inning of work at the 2017 All-Star Game, but that total will almost certainly be higher this year. For starters, the three-time Cy Young winner is almost certain to pitch two innings since he’ll be playing in his home ballpark, and he’ll likely have a little bit more adrenaline thanks to the support of his fans. That extra bit of juice should make his already vicious fourseam fastball even harder to touch.
Over/Under number of home runs hit: 2.5
No All-Star Game has featured more than three home runs since 2008, and no long balls were hit at all in 2009, 2010, and 2013.
Odds the All-Star Game goes into extra innings: 75/1
Savvy bettors made a small fortune last year when the All-Star Game unexpectedly took ten innings to decide, but don’t expect that to happen again in 2018. Just four of the previous 88 Mid-Summer Classics have gone longer than nine innings and that trend is likely to continue this year.
Just four of the previous 88 All-Star Games have gone longer than nine innings.
Odds anyone will hit an inside-the-park home run: 70/1
Ichiro Suzuki became the first – and only – player in All-Star Game history to hit an inside-the-park home run in 2007 when he hit a seeing-eye screamer off Padres pitcher Chris Young at AT&T Park. The two-time hitting champ had two things working in his favor in that particular at bat: his superhuman speed, and the ballpark’s odds angles. If Ichiro had been even a hair slower and the ball had not caromed unexpectedly off the brick wall in right center, it likely would have been a double or triple.
Those facts matter since Nationals Park doesn’t have the same challenging dimensions or obstructions as AT&T Park, and no one on this year’s squads can match Ichiro’s raw speed. Count on this record standing for the time being.
Odds anyone will hit a grand slam: 100/1
Grand slams are the baseball equivalent of Bigfoot: they’re virtually never seen. That’s especially true in the All-Star Game, as Fred Lynn is the only player in MLB history to hit a grand salami during the Mid-Summer Classic.
That trend should continue this year as pitchers continue to dominate the game and fewer players get on base.
Odds anyone will beat Ted Williams’ All-Star Game record of 10 total bases: 10,000/1
The Splendid Splinter had a game for the ages on July 9th, 1946 when he slugged two home runs, hit a pair of singles, and drew a walk for ten total bases. It remains the greatest performance by a position player in All-Star Game history and it’s unlikely to ever be matched.
Home Run Derby Odds
|Player||Odds to Win Home Run Derby|
|Bryce Harper (National League/Nationals)||9/2|
|Jesus Aguilar (National League/Brewers)||11/2|
|Freddie Freeman (National League/Braves)||6/1|
|Kyle Schwarber (National League/Cubs)||7/1|
|Max Muncy (National League/Dodgers)||7/1|
|Rhys Hoskins (National League/Phillies)||9/1|
|Javier Baez (National League/Cubs)||9/1|
|Alex Bregman (Astros League)||12/1|
With Harper playing in front of his home crowd, one of two things is going to happen: (a) he’s going to get a shot of adrenaline and mash like there’s no tomorrow or (b) he’s going to get a shot of adrenaline, try way too hard, and get bounced in round one.
There’s precedent for the former. Marlin slugger Justin Bour nearly pulled off the upset of upsets last year with the game in Miami. He crushed 22 homers against Aaron Judge in round one, the second-highest score of the entire derby. Unfortunately, it was second to Judge’s 23 first-round homers.
Over/Under total home runs in the Home Run Derby: 181.5
No offense to Harper, Muncy, and the rest of the crew, but without the massive bodies of Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Gary Sanchez, and Miguel Sano, the chances that this year’s derby tops last year’s (195) in terms of total taters is low.
Odds to hit the longest home run in the Home Run Derby
|Player (Size)||Odds||Longest home run since 2015|
|Bryce Harper (6’3, 220 lbs)||4/1||473 feet|
|Kyle Schwarber (6’0, 235 lbs)||5/1||470 feet|
|Freddie Freeman (6’5, 220 lbs)||5/1||464 feet|
|Jesus Aguilar (6’3, 250 lbs)||11/2||449 feet|
|Rhys Hoskins (6’4, 225 lbs)||13/2||445 feet|
|Max Muncy (6’0, 210 lbs)||10/1||450 feet|
|Javier Baez (6’0, 190 lbs)||12/1||463 feet|
|Alex Bregman (6’0.,180 lbs)||49/1||430 feet|
Over/Under longest home run in the Home Run Derby: 491.5 feet
Again, besting last year’s longest homer (513 feet) is unlikely. Again, because the 6’7, 282-pound Aaron Judge will be watching from the dugout. The 6’0 frame of Max Muncy can have all the core strength in the world; it takes sheer mass to launch a ball that far.
Not one player in the derby has an in-game homer longer than 473 (since Statcast started in 2015, anyway). Fans should see a few longer than that in glorified batting practice, but don’t expect anything over five bills.