All-Star Arms Are Loaded
While the NFL and NBA have sucked up to the instant gratification generation, letting their all-star games hit rock bottom on the credibility scale -- and I'm not sure the NFL's Pro Bowl was ever above rock bottom -- because nobody wants to play defense (save this past year's Pro Bowl), Major League Baseball's All-Star Game is played and strategized mostly like a regular season game and not an exhibition.
This has especially become true since the outcome of baseball's Mid-Summer Classic has an impact on the home field advantage for the World Series.
So with all that in mind, for those of you wanting to take a betting interest in Tuesday's All-Star game, there is no place to go but to bet the under to give yourself the best chance of making the All-Star game a winning proposition. While I admit, it might not be as fun as watching something similar to Phase II of Monday's Home Run Derby, there really isn't much to base seeing the game go over Bovada's 7 1/2 run total on other than pure luck alone. First of all, let's look at the recent history of the game. Only two of the last eight All-Star Games have combined for a total of 8 or more, and the two games that did go over did by the stitches of a baseball (2012: 8-0; 2007: 5-4). The average total runs combined in those last 8 games is 6.1.
On top of that, offensive numbers in baseball are trending downward at an alarming rate. Batting averages are at a 42-year low, and strikeouts are at an all-time high. And do you think it will help that three of the first several pitchers we will see out of the gate are Adam Wainwright, Félix Hernández, and Clayton Kershaw?
I thought it was telling over the weekend when the Reds' Alfredo Simón was named as a late addition to the National League pitching staff. He might not be a household name, but the guy has great stuff, and this late addition is 12-3 with an ERA of 2.70. Those numbers, to me, are telling in just how deep pitching is in this contest.
I know that scoring sells in All-Star games like sex does in Hollywood, but if you would like to make a little change while watching the game, the under gives you the best way to get there.
Prediction: All-Star Game run total ... under 7½
Follow me on Twitter @SopranoSteve for daily picks.