All-Star Game still excites

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Growing up in the ‘70’s and being a Yankees fan, there were two very special days each season.

One was Old Timers Day at Yankee Stadium. It was epic. Legends like Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra on the same field as Thurman Munson, Reggie Jackson and Ron Guidry.

The other special day was the All-Star Game. Maybe it was a combination of summer vacation, great weather and the best in baseball getting together that made it so special.

This year’s game will be next Tuesday in Cleveland. It’s an event truly made for the fans. Each of the major sports have their version of the ASG. The NFL contest takes place after the regular season and before the Super Bowl so any Super Bowl participants are going to sit it out. The one thing that the NFL has in common with the NBA and NHL ASG’s is it’s all offense and absolutely no defense.

Let’s face it, no matter how high the total rises, the majority of us bettors bet the over when it comes to those leagues.

In baseball, the players truly want to win. Understand that some of these players from each league know they may face some of their opponents come October.

Many of us bet this game. Some bet because for a week we don’t have any other action. Admit it, during All-Star week, I’m sure at one time or another you made a wager on a sport you’ve probably never bet before like WNBA, etc. just to have something to watch and have some action.

The American League has dominated the mid-season contest, winning the last six straight, and over the last 31 ASG’s, are 24-6-1. Guys, believe it or not, most of the ASG’s over recent years were not high scoring. Last year, 14 runs were scored in a 10-inning game. The year before three total runs were scored, also in a 10-inning game.

When it comes to betting the total here, go with your instinct. This game consists of the best players in the sport today. To me, betting baseball is always about the pitching. However, pitchers rarely take the mound for more than an inning or two here. So, it comes down to hitting. Both squads are chock full of offensive prowess.

Don’t go crazy betting big here as it is still an All-Star Game. Having said that, the AL has a few more weapons in their arsenal and history certainly gives them the advantage. I put a lean on the American League.

As for this week, here are the Best Bets:

Wednesday

Twins at Athletics: Minnesota, which was touted to be a solid team, have certainly exceeded expectations. They have not just taken over first place in the AL Central from the division’s perennial leader, the Cleveland Indians, but they have an eight-game lead as the week began.

Throughout the season, I have touched several times on the fact that the Twins are a dangerous team because they are equally good on the road as they are at home. They sport the AL’s second best overall record at 53-30, but it is their 27-16 away mark that is most impressive. The Twinkies are the only AL Central squad with a winning record away from home.

The A’s have won three straight and seven of their last 10 entering this series and have taken seven of the last nine meetings with the Twins.

This is the first meeting of 2019, but Oaktown is facing a Minny team that is quite a bit stronger than in previous seasons. Kyle Gibson gets the nod here. The right-hander has been very reliable, donning an 8-4, 4.21 record, striking out 88 batters in 87.2 IP. 

Minnesota accounts for an astounding, 6.30 RPG on the road. This does not bode well for Tanner Anderson, the Oakland starter. The righty is making just the fifth start of his career, is 0-3 with a whopping 7.13 ERA on the campaign.

The Twins are 10-2 the last 12 vs. the AL West. Oakland is 3-7 the last 10 vs. teams with a winning percentage of over .600. The line here, due to the past meetings and the Oakland’s current hot streak, should be reasonable. However, if it gets bet up a bit high, don’t be afraid the pull the trigger with a run line play. TWINS

Astros at Rockies: After a tough series with New York (lost three of four), Houston then dropped two of three to Pittsburgh. Well, the Astros do not take losing lightly and bounced back to sweep the Mariners, 3-0. Houston has had success against just about every team in the league over recent seasons.

Colorado is playing good baseball. Despite how good they play, as far as the NL West is concerned, always a bridesmaid, never a bride. Los Angeles has a 12-game cushion and is showing no signs of slowing down.

The Rockies have always scored runs, particularly at home in Coors Field. But this contest is all about the pitching. Crafty veteran Wade Miley takes the mound for Houston. The left-hander has been tough, starting 17 games already and earning a 6-4 record.

First year pro Peter Lambert is making just his sixth start ever and he hasn’t made it past the fifth inning over those last three starts (3.0, 5.0, 4.2). ASTROS RUN LINE

Last week: 1-1

Season: 17-17

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