Well, it’s that time of year again − the slowest sports week of the year. Thank goodness for the MLB All Star Game and the NBA Summer League. Rather than feed your addiction of betting on meaningless basketball, we’ll feed your addiction by focusing on meaningless baseball.
Here’s how the All Star Game shakes out this year in Cleveland.
Line: National League (+102) at American League (-110)
Total: 8.5 (-110)
Starters: Hyun-Jin Ryu (10-2, 1.73 ERA) vs. Justin Verlander (10-4, 2.98 ERA)
While we all know the starters go only an inning − maybe two − in the All Star Game, it doesn’t hurt to look at who will run out to the mound to start the game.
The old and the new, Verlander vs. Ryu. Ryu has been, by far, the best starter in baseball this year on the best team in baseball, so naturally he gets the call. Verlander, who has been outspoken about MLB’s juicing of the baseballs, yet has had a great start to his year.
He better hope the MLB didn’t put some extra pop in the balls for the All Star Game, because he hasn’t had a great time in the event in prior years. In his last appearance in 2012, he gave up five runs. He has an ERA of 18.00 in all his ASG appearances. Yikes.
Meanwhile, it is Ryu’s first time making an All Star team after five years of laboring. If he has shown anything this year, he does not rattle easily and should not be overwhelmed by the moment. He has given up more than two runs just twice so far this year.
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American League (-110)
The Total Pick:
Over 8.5 (-110)
The American League has owned the All Star Game as of late. The AL has won 18 of the last 22 meetings dating back to the late 1990s, including the last six. The American League is also at home (Cleveland), not that it matters all that much but they do get last ups if needed.
The American League is stronger at the top. The AL has six teams that won at least 50 games before the break, while the NL had just two. But one of those two was the 60-win Dodgers, who claimed the best record before the break.
All said and done, it seems like the AL has too much depth and power throughout the lineup for the NL to get off the snide.
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