Rob Senior previews the All-Star game on July 11. He provides his expert prediction, best bets, trends and game history.
Date & Time: Tuesday, July 11, 8:07 P.M. Eastern
Moneyline: National League (+104) vs. American League (-122)
Runline: National League +1.5 (-205)/American League -1.5 (+168)
Total: Over 7.5 (-105)/Under 7.5 (-115)
Where: T-Mobile Park, Seattle, WA
Weather: 73 degrees, 10% chance of rain
MLB All-Star Game: Preview and Picks
The National League and American League All-Stars square off Tuesday night in Seattle in the 93rd edition of Major League Baseball’s midsummer classic.
This year, Seattle and the Mariners are hosting the event, meaning the American League will serve as Tuesday night’s designated home team.
Let’s take a closer look at the matchup between the two MLB all-star teams.
It’s hard to do a thorough, technical handicap in a game consisting of two teams that have never played together. Add to that the fact that pitchers change inning by inning, lineups are unpredictable, and motivation varies from player to player.
That said, we bet on sports because it’s fun, and we can make some money in the process. We can do both with Tuesday night’s game by looking at simple history.
Historically, the American League holds a 47-43-2 record over the National League, but let’s not pretend we’ll learn anything from the days when Babe Ruth battled Carl Hubbell.
Let’s start with the 1987 All-Star Game, a classic featuring seventeen future Hall of Famers won by the National League, 2-0 in 13 innings in Oakland. Following that game, the National League held a 37-20 advantage all-time in All-Star Games (with one tie.)
Who cares? Well, bettors might when they realize the American League holds an astounding 27-6 advantage in All-Star Games since that night (again, with one tie.)
Why Does the American League Always Win the All-Star Game?
Better Players? Most people would likely name Shohei Ohtani, Mike, Trout, and Aaron Judge – all American Leaguers – as baseball’s best players.
But if it were that simple, why are World Series 50/50 between the two leagues over the past decade?
Rules Differences? Maybe this was logical for a time. But since the COVID-shortened 2020 season, the NL has used the designated hitter. Despite this, AL dominance continues in the All-Star Game.
Motivation? Try again… the aforementioned 2002 tie All-Star Game led Major League Baseball to award home-field advantage in the World Series to the champion of the victorious league each year. That’s another rule that’s gone away since 2019.
The truth is no one know why the American League is on such a successful run of All-Star Game victories. But a streak of nine straight wins – interrupted only by the game’s cancellation in 2020 – is the AL’s longest in the game’s history and moving within striking distance of the National League’s 11 in a row from 1972 through 1982.
MLB All-Star Game: Side, Total, and Run Line
We’ve covered some recent history of choosing a side, but what about the total?
Twelve of the past 14 games have gone under the total. The books are beginning to adjust by moving the total to a smaller 7.5 in 2023.
This trend makes a little more sense than the one-sided American League advantage, as most pitchers throw one inning in the game at most. Hitters from the opposing league barely see these hurlers during the year. They also don’t get to face them a second or certainly not a third time through the lineup, as they would during the regular season.
Run line? It’s American League -1.5 at a price of +168 this year, while the NL comes back at +1.5 at a juicy -205. During the current nine-game American League winning streak, the game has been decided by exactly one run three times.
Game Pick and Prediction
We won’t pretend to have expert insight into an exhibition game that’s increasingly played for the fans and for fun. If you have a favorite team or players, putting a few bucks on that side is as good an idea as any. You certainly shouldn’t be betting big on All-Star Games.
But we might as well learn something from all this history. Since 1987, the National League has only won six All-Star Games. With the game in an AL stadium, meaning the American League gets the last at-bat, +104 just isn’t a strong enough price to buck this trend.
Additionally, these games tend to be lower scoring, perhaps owing to the high lineup turnover. Even with the total lowered to 7.5 this year, we’ll pick accordingly and recommend the under 7.5 on the total.
As for the run line, +168 isn’t a bad price for a team looking for its 10th consecutive victory in the Midsummer Classic. Just remember – we can’t find any conclusive reason for the streak!
2023 MLB All-Star Prediction: Parlay American League money line and UNDER 7.5 (+255)