Unlike the all-star games of other North American professional sports leagues, the outcome of the MLB all-star game actually has some meaning, asides from bragging rights and pride. The winning team of the all-star game (American League or National League) will provide the respective representative team during the World Series with home-field advantage. As a result, players will likely have more of an incentive to compete seriously and try to perform to the best of their abilities. Because of this fact, bettors often find the MLB all-star game very enticing to bet on since the players are often extremely motivated. Here are four tips on handicapping the MLB all-star game.
Examine The Starting Pitchers
When handicapping MLB games, it is prudent to analyze both starting pitchers in detail since they will likely stay in the game for five or more innings. However, when handicapping the all-star game, there shouldn’t be as much of an emphasis on the starting pitchers due to the fact that each roster carries numerous starting and relief pitchers. Since the manager of each respective team will try to get each pitcher on the roster into the game, it makes sense to place a bit more weight on the two starting pitchers but also take into account the rest of the pitching staff. Additionally, one should try and get a feel for which pitchers on the roster will be more likely to get into the game and analyze these pitchers in more detail.
Examine Past Trends
It is also important to take past trends into account with regards to the winning side of the all-star game. During the more recent years and in each era, one side of the league (either the AL or NL) will tend to be stacked with better players or get to host the all-star game more, resulting in home-field advantage for the league that is the host. Looking at past results, the AL has absolutely dominated the previous all-star games. The AL is on a four-year winning streak (2013–2016), the NL was on a three-year winning streak prior (2010–2012), the AL was on a 12-year winning streak (1997–2009, with one tied game in 2002), the NL was on a three-year winning streak again (1994–1996), and the AL was on a six-year winning streak (1988–1993). Each side tends to win in streaks and it will be smart to consider past trends.
If you’re unsure of which side to bet on for the all-star game, it may pay off to consider the available prop bets. Prop bets may be specific to individual batters and pitchers and may be easier to analyze and gauge for some bettors. Additionally, with the wide selection of different prop bets, bettors are able to be more picky and only wager on the prop bets that they feel extremely comfortable with and believe that will have a high chance of winning or hold a lot of value.
Additionally, if you’re unsure of which side to place a wager for, it might be a good idea to consider the live in-play betting option. This will allow the bettor to see how the game goes first and get a general feel for the direction that the game will trend towards. With this information, the bettor may be in a better place to make a live in-play bet. Additionally, this strategy may save the bettor from a loss, since if the bettor initially wanted to bet on the AL to win, but after the first inning, the NL has already put up three runs on the board, the bettor would have saved his initial bet amount and also be able to place this amount on a live in-play bet.