Betting the MLB All-Star Game: Finding Value in the Total

Betting the MLB All-Star Game: Finding Value in the Total article feature image

© Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: NL starter Max Scherzer, NL manager Dave Roberts, AL manager A.J. Hinch and AL starter Chris Sale

  • When you think MLB All-Star Game, you might think high run totals.
  • But in the post-steroid era, runs have been down in the Midsummer Classic.
  • That means there could be value in betting under 7 runs in Tuesday's contest.

Many will focus on the fact that Tuesday’s All-Star Game will break an all-time tie between the American League and National League, as both are 43-43-2 in the Midsummer Classic. (Well, unless Bud Selig somehow shows up and finds a way to declare another tie.)

Others will focus on recent AL domination, as the NL has only won three of the past 21 meetings.

I’d rather focus on the over/under, which I think holds more value if you want to bet the All-Star Game. Let’s take a closer look at a recent total trend that I think could continue Tuesday night.

National League vs. American League -130 | O/U: 7

Ironically, in the current post-steroid era of baseball, batters are as hungry for home runs as ever. They have a newfound obsession for exit velocity and launch angles, which has caused a record-low number of balls in play and great success for under bettors.

Situational hitting has never been worse, and strikeouts continue to rise — which we’ve recently seen play out in the All-Star Game.

In the past 10 seasons, the All-Star Game has had more than eight runs only one time — at the bandbox in Cincinnati in 2015. Even then, the two teams combined for only nine.

In contrast, we saw more than eight total runs in seven of the 10 All-Star Games from 1998-2007. And five of those 10 games featured double-digit runs, which hasn’t happened since 2005.

To highlight the difference even more, the All-Star Game has averaged only 6.1 runs per game over the past 10 seasons — more than four runs per game less than the average (10.6) between 1998-2007.

In today’s era, great pitchers can dominate great hitters — especially when not having to go through a lineup multiple times. Just look at what the Rays are doing this season with their “opener.” It takes only one blowup inning to ruin an under 7, but I think this game goes under more times than not. It also doesn’t hurt that you can find +110 in the market on the under.