2019 MLB All-Star Game Betting Odds, Preview: Our Experts’ Favorite Bets for the Midsummer Classic
Ken Blaze, USA Today Sports.
- The 2019 MLB All-Star Game takes place on Tuesday, July 7 at 7:30 p.m. ET on FOX.
- The American League are slight -110 favorites over the National League. The over/under is set at 8.5 runs.
- Here are our staff's favorite bets for the Midsummer Classic.
2019 MLB All-Star Game Betting Odds
- National League Odds: +100
- American League Odds: -110
- Over/Under: 8.5 (-115/-105)
- Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
- Channel: FOX
- Location: Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio
>> All odds courtesy of the Westgate SuperBook and current as of 11 p.m. ET on Monday. Download The Action Network App to get real-time MLB odds and track your bets
The MLB All-Star Game may not count in the standings, but that isn’t going to stop sports-betting enthusiasts from getting down a little action on the Midsummer Classic.
There is a pretty good betting menu across the market for Tuesday night’s game, so whether you actually want to take a deep dive and break this game down to find an edge or simply throw some snack money on a few props, you will be able to enhance your viewing experience.
Of course it’s best to proceed with caution when betting on an exhibition game, but that still doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun trying to find a winner in the Midsummer Classic.
That being said, here’s how we are betting the All-Star Game:
The Bet: AL First-Five Innings Moneyline (-112)
If you break the two teams down by expected weighted-on base average (xwOBA), this all-star game is essentially too close to call.
American League starter Justin Verlander carries a .269 xwOBA into the contest (.274 career) – his second start and eighth career appearance in the Midsummer Classic.
National League starter Hyun-Jin Ryu owns a .264 xwOBA on the season, a modest improvement upon his 2018 (.273), but a season which bests his career average by 0.32 points.
This is Ryu’s first all-star game, and he will likely be less comfortable in the surroundings than Verlander will be.
Breaking down the rest of the rosters, it’s nearly a dead heat at every position group:
Note that I separated reserve starting pitchers from relievers as the relief pitchers will have more familiarity in their expected role.
The biggest position group edge belongs to the NL bullpen, as they feature the pitchers with the two lowest xwOBA marks in the game in Kirby Yates (.207) and Will Smith (.235).
Liam Hendricks (.240) and Ryan Pressly (.244) are the AL’s two most effective pitchers by that metric.
I’m going to look to bet the American League behind Verlander (and hopefully Gerrit Cole!) in the first five innings, and will potentially look to play the live under and maybe the NL (around the 7th inning) if the game looks headed for a close/late situation.
The Bet: Under 8.5
Last year’s All-Star game saw both teams combine for 14 runs, and the public is unsurprisingly expecting a repeat. Overs have crushed this season, and 84% of bettors are currently siding with the over in this year’s contest.
That said, the All-Star game has actually been dominated by pitching recently. Nine of the last 11 midsummer classics have gone under 8.5 runs, and a 10th contest landed at just nine runs. The average number of runs scored in those games was just 6.8, and that includes a game that went 15 innings. Overall, last year’s contest looks like a major outlier.
Betting on unders has been scary this season — Justin Verlander isn’t the only person who thinks the league is juicing the baseball — but I think this is a good opportunity to leverage recency bias and fade the public.
The Bet: Jeff McNeil to Win MVP 60-1
There is a time and place for throwing darts and the MLB All-Star Game fits the bill.
Picking the MVP of the Midsummer Classic is pretty tough since nobody has any clue whatsoever how the game will be managed, but betting on sports is supposed to be fun and what’s more fun than throwing a few bucks on a longshot?
My process was pretty simple. First, I eliminated anybody with odds shorter than 40-1. I’m here for the big numbers. Next, I crossed off every pitcher.
From there, I put on the ol’ thinking cap and made a case for each player. It was basically like I was this player’s lawyer and I was also the jury.
The player that I made the best argument for was Jeff McNeil at 60-1. Not only does he play a few different positions, thus increasing his chance of staying in the game longer and squeezing out an extra at-bat, but he’s also a good story — which is just as important when dealing with voted-on awards like All-Star Game MVP.
I also like the fact that McNeil plays for the New York Mets. The Amazins could use as much good news as possible considering how off-the-rails things have gone in Flushing this season. I think voters will have a hard time passing up the chance to vote McNeil for MVP the night after Pete Alonso won the Home Run Derby. But that’s just me.
The Bet: Total Runs Scored in 1st Inning (1 run: +340 and 2+ runs: +220) (FanDuel)
Mr. Leboff has it right. There is a time and a place for throwing darts and this is exactly that time.
Hyun-Jin Ryu gets the start for the National League and Ryu has been lights out in 2019, with a 1.73 ERA in 17 starts in 2019. Over the last two seasons, Ryu has an ERA of 1.83, which is by far the lowest in baseball over that span.
Where Ryu has ironically struggled a bit is in the first inning. This season, Ryu has allowed 7 earned runs in the first inning for a 3.71 ERA, his highest ERA of any inning. In Ryu’s career, he has a 4.46 ERA in the first, allowing 18 home runs, both the highest in any inning.
I’ll take a shot here on there being a run or two scored in the first inning of tonight’s All-Star Game.