Having fun with the All-Star Game

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    Of the various All-Star events, baseball’s is the best since the game is still in its purest form compared to the others. Basketball and hockey are defenseless matches designed for entertainment, football, not really sure what that even is with its special rules. Baseball is about pitching and hitting, just like it is for 162 games during the season, only with the sports brightest stars.

    This year’s “Mid-Summer Classic” returns to Anaheim for the first time since 1989, when the host team was known as the California Angels. That season the Kansas City Royals Bo Jackson was the star of stars, taking home the MVP trophy.

    The All-Star contest has had unusual runs of domination during its previous 80 conflicts (AL leads 40-38-2). Starting in 1950, the National League dominated the action, winning 33 of 40 games played, with one tie. Though the American League has not approached that length of dominance, they have controlled the action with 12-0-1 mark since 1997.

    It is not a coincidence the American League has made the National League it own personal punching bag for over a decade. In reviewing the two All-Star rosters, the American League has more balance in terms of creating base hits and power, while the National League is lagging in the power department. The situation is made worse as three of the senior circuit’s top vote-getters are on the disabled list. (Chase Utley, Placido Palanco and Jason Heyward)

    The National League is a +110 underdog based on recent history and being the visiting team. Nevertheless, they will have a number of quality arms to toe the rubber with the likes of Ubaldo Jimenez, Josh Johnson, Tim Hudson and others.

    The total of 8.5 could be a very inviting wager, as only five of the last 19 All-Star games have matched or gone below the number. However, playing in California does create different circumstances, since there will be ample sunlight early in the contest because of the start time, followed by a period in the middle innings when pitchers should have edge before the lights take full effect after dusk.

    One of the best aspects of the All-Star game that few know about is Ichiro Suzuki’s pregame speech. Ichiro has always made this a personal battle and his pre-game comments are legendary in the American League locker room, both for their intensity and hilarity, trying to find the right English words to convey his enthusiasm and desire for winning.

    Sports betting enthusiasts will have the opportunity to make several different wagers besides the side and total at online sports betting outlets and it can be fun to check out the various prop bet options available and pick up extra cash while enjoying the game.

    Given how the AL has controlled their baseball brethren from the other league, it’s difficult to bet against the junior circuit and an Over play is also a logical conclusion to make. However, with pitching so dominant this season, I’ll suggest it carries over and make a small wager on the Under.

    Enjoy the game!

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