It May Be Cool in Minnesota, But NL Heat Should Prevail
By Charles Jay
We’re not all that sure there’s going to be a lot of baseball betting at VietBet on the All-Star Game, but we do know that in its infinite wisdom, Major League baseball has decreed that the winner of this game gets home field advantage in the World Series. Now, if they change some of rules to allow players taken out of the game to reappear in extra innings, if the game gets to that, we’d have something that could keep the game from becoming a farce, like it did several years ago when, embarrassingly enough, the teams ran out of players.
Instead, they have added people to the rosters. Each league has 34, and on top of that, there is a rule that allows for the teams to substitute for a pitcher if he had to start on Sunday. Or, they could elect to throw one inning maximum. Most of them sit it out, and as a result, the National League has added Tim Hudson (San Francisco), Alfredo Simon (Cincinnati), Huston Street (San Diego) and Tyler Clippard (Washington) to take the place of Madison Bumgarner (San Francisco), Johnny Cueto (Cincinnati), Tyson Ross (San Diego) and Julio Teheran (Atlanta), who all made starts on Sunday.
In the MLB Betting Odds for the 2014 All Star Game that have been posted at VietBet, the AL is a slight favorite:
American League (Hernandez – R) -108
National League (Wainwright – R) -102
Under 7.5 Runs -120
Over 7.5 Runs +100
Masahiro Tanaka of the New York Yankees was originally scheduled to be one of those Sunday starters, but his season got put on hold sooner than that with an elbow injury that will keep him out until late August at the very earliest. Koji Uehara, the closer for the Boston Red Sox, who probably deserved to be named to the team in the first place, will assume Tanaka’s spot on the roster.
David Price of Tampa Bay, the AL leader in strikeouts, also started Sunday and decided to sit out the game, so he is replaced by Fernando Rodney, his teammate who leads the American League in saves. Most All-Star Game bettors expect that he’ll be traded soon, but it hasn’t happened yet. Meanwhile, that was the fate of Jeff Samardzija, formerly of the Cubs, who was voted to the NL All-Star team despite just two victories, which should give you an idea of how well he’s pitched in spite of that. But he was traded to Oakland, so he had to surrender his All-Star status.
Chris Sale of the Chicago White Sox, who is perhaps the best left-hander in the AL, with the best WHIP ratio (walk plus hits to innings pitched) among starters (0.84), won the vote to be the “final man,” and it’s a good thing, because if he were to be left off that would have warranted an investigation. As it is, VietBet customers should demand an investigation as to why Garrett Richards (11-2, 2.55 ERA) of the Los Angeles Angels was left off, because along with Sale, he may be the primary challenger to Felix Hernandez, tonight’s AL starter, for Cy Young honors by season’s end.
Henderson Alvarez of the Miami Marlins may not be contending for the NL’s Cy Young award, but he has pitched three shutouts, which is rare, and he gets a chance as he takes the place of the injured Jordan Zimmerman (Washington). Alvarez is the best thing that has happened to Miami in the huge trade they made with Toronto last year, and he could be an effective guy in relief on Tuesday.
As for handicapping this thing for the benefit of All-Star Game bettors, well, no one ever knows all the parameters for sure, but if we are talking about a game in which relief pitching will play a prominent role, the National League probably has more guys with “shutdown” capability. Just take a look at Pat Neshek (St. Louis), Aroldis Chapman (Reds) and Craig Kimbrel (Atlanta). Between them, they have permitted just 48 hits in 105 innings, with 159 strikeouts. They’ll all come into throw an inning of heat, after Adam Wainwright and Clayton Kershaw blow a few by Mike Trout, Miguel Cabrera & Co., and the NL (-102 at VietBet) will walk away with a victory.
Bet the All-Star Game, both beforehand and while it’s happening, with Live Betting Extra, which is available right now at VietBet!