On Tuesday evening Kauffman Stadium will play host to the 83rd edition of the MLB All-Star Game between the National League and American League All-Stars. From 1997 to 2009, the American League was 12-0-1 in the All-Star Game, but the National League has won it the last two years.
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Breaking down the All Star offenses
As is usually the case, when it comes to power, the American League has a noticeable edge. Through Wednesday’s action, 11 players in the MLB had 20 home runs, and nine of them play in the American League. This includes seven American League All-Stars: Jose Bautista (27), Josh Hamilton (26), Curtis Granderson (23), David Ortiz (22), Robinson Cano (20), Adam Jones (20), and Mark Trumbo (20). National League pitchers will have their work cut out for them trying to keep the ball in the park.
Ryan Braun (23 home runs) and Carlos Beltran (20) are the two National League players in that club. Of course, home runs aren’t the only way to produce offense, and when it comes to batting average the National League has all five of the players currently batting .350 or higher in the majors this season. Melky Cabrera (.357), Carlos Ruiz (.357), Andrew McCutchen (.356), David Wright (.353), and Joey Votto (.350) are all All-Stars.
It has been seven years since the last time that 10 runs have been scored in an All-Star Game, back when the American League won 7-5 in 2005. Nine runs or less have been scored in each of the last six All-Star Games, including four straight games with seven or less runs. This talented group of offensive players will look to buck that trend.
Pitching will look to continue to dominate
As mentioned above, with seven runs or less in each of the last four All-Star Games, pitching has been in the spotlight. This year may be no different as both the American League and National League are sending out some fantastic talent in both the starting rotation and bullpen.
Jered Weaver (2.13 ERA), Chris Sale (2.19), C.J. Wilson (2.33), Justin Verlander (2.58), and David Price (2.82 ERA) have the lowest ERA’s among pitchers in the American League, and all five made the team. Relievers including Jim Johnson (1.24 ERA) and Joe Nathan (1.87 ERA) add even more strength to the bullpen.
With R.A. Dickey (2.40 ERA), Matt Cain (2.62), Clayton Kershaw (2.65), Stephen Strasburg (2.81), and Gio Gonzalez (3.01) leading the National League’s starting pitching core along with electric relievers Huston Street (1.23), Craig Kimbrel (1.50), and Aroldis Chapman (1.93) leading the bullpen, the National League’s bread and butter of elite pitching is also in full force.
While both staffs will clearly be fine without them, it is worth noting that two All-Star mainstays are out with injuries as the National League is without Roy Halladay and the American League is without CC Sabathia.
Home Run Derby odds now available
While the All-Star Game is exciting as a standalone event, it also shares the spotlight with the Home Run Derby - which is very popular amongst fans and bettors alike.
Here are the eight participants in this year’s event listed with their current home run totals and odds to win the Home Run Derby at Bovada: Jose Bautista (27, 7/2), Giancarlo Stanton (19, 4/1), Prince Fielder (13, 5/1), Carlos Beltran (20, 11/2), Robinson Cano (20, 11/2), Mark Trumbo (20, 6/1), Matt Kemp (12, 6/1), and Carlos Gonzalez (17, 13/2). Kemp’s 12 home runs came in just 121 at bats this season.
Robinson Cano won the Home Run Derby last year, and Prince Fielder won it in 2009. No matter who wins it this year, it should be an exciting event as always.
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