MLB All-Star Game 2013: Betting Preview

The 2013 Major League Baseball All Star Game will get underway 8pm ET this Tuesday at Citi Field in New York and is set to host the cream of the MLB – voted for by the fans.

The National League team will be managed by Giants skipper Bruce Bochy, and the American League team by his counterpart in the 2012 World Series, Jim Leyland. 

Although the game is essentially an exhibition, it does hold a certain degree of importance as   the winner will receive home field advantage for their respective league in the 2013 World Series.

With this in mind, we’re going to run through the stars who’ll be hoping to shine the brightest and secure their league victory.

The American League (+115)

Miguel Cabrera  (Detroit Tigers)

Miguel Cabrera could wind up in the exclusive company of Jimmie Foxx, Nap Lajoie and Frank Thomas – they’re the only right-handed batters in American League history with a 200 OPS+ season

Among 90 qualified AL batters, Cabrera owns the seventh-best strikeout-to-walk ratio. Chris Davis ranks 65th on that list. Cursed by his notorious reputation, Cabrera sees more sliders than Crush.

Despite being the one guy that everybody tries to pitch around, he’s putting up historically significant numbers and could well tilt the balance for the AL.

Chris Davis (Baltimore Orioles)

Chris Davis let us know from the get-go that he was conspiring to have an all-time great power-hitting campaign. He drove in 16 runs through the first four contests of the season, and otherworldly performance has pretty much been the norm for him ever since.

The strikeout rate has steadily crept upward, but Crush still has a very realistic chance at challenging Roger Maris, whom he acknowledged as the legitimate home run king.

Davis’ offensive brilliance more than compensates for sub-par defense and he’s lapping other AL first basemen in everything from on-base percentage and slugging percentage to hits and runs batted in to Wins Above Replacement and Win Probability Added – he could well make this his All Star Game to remember.

The National League (-125)

Yadier Molina (St. Louis Cardinals)

Yadier Molina has such a powerful influence on the St. Louis Cardinals pitching staff.

Since May 13, for example, opponents have not scored more than seven runs in any game while Molina was behind the plate. Keep in mind that Chris Carpenter and Jason Motte haven’t thrown a single pitch in that two-month span, and Jaime Garcia made only one mediocre appearance before opting for shoulder surgery.

The 31-year-old has squatted for 717 innings on an inflamed right knee, second only to Miguel Montero. In all that time, only 29 times have players attempted to steal a base against him. Nearly 45 percent of those attempts were unsuccessful.

Oh yeah, and he’s leading the NL batting title race without reaping the benefits of infield hits like many non-catchers can.

Carlos Gonzalez (Colorado Rockies)

A sprained middle finger has forced Carlos Gonzalez to withdraw from the 2013 Home Run Derby.

Fortunately, Bruce Bochy will still have the toolsy star at his disposal on Tuesday night.

More so than in past years, CarGo is committing to taking big swings. That has elevated his strikeout rate (26.6 K%) and helped him lead the National League in slugging percentage up to this point.

It’s easy—yet completely misguided—to give the high altitude of Coors Field all of the credit for his gaudy production. Gonzalez actually goes deep more often on the road and also performs better in each of the triple-slash categories.

Although most advanced metrics weren’t impressed with his defense in 2012, they view him as an elite left fielder this summer and will be key if the NL slight favourites are to come out on top.

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