July 16, 2013 at 2:42 PM #52452
Qbin Missile CrisisKeymaster
American League vs National League
Tuesday July 16
Citi Field – Queens, NY
AL: Max Scherzer ®
NL: Matt Harvey (R)
Moneyline: National League -125, American League +115
The Major League Baseball All-Star game is the best of its kind by far and I really am looking forward to watching it. As it turns out the visiting American League are the underdogs but it is hard to see why given how much power they have in their lineup. With 1B Chris Davis and 3B Miguel Cabrera they have the Majors top two home run hitters but the real discrepancy is in the middle infield where 2B Robinson Cano and SS J.J. Hardy have combined for 37 homers. The AL has power to spare which is a nice quality even in a game that certainly has no shortage of top flight arms.
For an All-Star game it is hard to evaluate who has the better staff. Max Scherzer deserves the starting nod for his near perfect record, but you could easily make the case that he is not even the best starter on his own team now that Justin Verlander seems to have found himself again. I really like the fact that relievers of all shapes and sizes now get a chance to shine in this thing and I am not just saying that because I am writing this from Toronto. It probably was lost in the ether but lefty setup man Brett Cecil went 40+ batters without giving up a hit this season. That is pretty awesome no matter what role you are in.
Though they are the home favourites the National League are a much less distinguished group than their American League counterparts…and that is not necessarily a bad thing. It seems that it is just as often a reserve that rises to the occasion as not and the NL squad has many first time All-Stars, especially young ones like Brewers SS Jean Segura, Phillies OF Domonic Brown and Pirates slugging 3B Pedro Alvarez. Alvarez is the exact kind of all or nothing swinger that often delights the audience for the mid-summer classic.
I am a big fan of Matt Harvey but there is no way he is selected to make this start if this game is not in his own home park. Its not that the young righty isn’t good but Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw has him beat in every category except strikeouts. CK plays on the West Coast so most generally do not see as much of him but he is fantastic. There are lots of great arms on this NL squad but the thing I like best about them is that the could close out with Craig Kimbrell and Aroldis Chapman. Who could easily strike out the side to secure a victory, even against All-Stars.
Score Prediction: American League 7 – National League 6
It is my personal philosophy to take the underdog in any contest like this. The value isn’t horrible on the home favourite National League but it is hard to correctly gauge which team is better or better suited to win so why not try and grab some extra juice. On a more technical level I am nervous about young Harvey starting amidst all those expectations. The way I see it the game could be out of reach before the first pitching change if he isn’t careful. Either way just enjoy the fun whether you wager or not. The over is always a good way to go as well because nobody wants a pitchers duel in this one.
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