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2016 MLB All-Star Game – American League vs. National League Preview and Prediction

2016 MLB All-Star Game – American League vs. National League Preview and Prediction

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2016 MLB All-Star Game Preview

Where: Petco Park – San Diego, California

When: Tuesday, July 12, 8:00 PM ET

Line: American League +105 vs. National League -115total: 7.5 – view all MLB lines

TV Broadcast: FOX

Writer’s Pick: American League


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Pitching Edge: National League (-115)

The NL’s edge on pitching would be a whole lot wider if aces like Clayton Kershaw, Madison Bumgarner, Noah Syndergaard, and Stephen Strasburg were available to pitch in the game. But even though they’re not expected to take part, the NL still boasts the superior talent on the pitching side.

Johnny Cueto, who’s having a career year with the Giants, will get his very first All-Star start, with reigning Cy Young Jake Arrieta, Jose Fernandez, and Jon Lester to follow. And the back end of the NL’s bullpen will be well-stocked with saves. Four of the five current saves leaders in the majors are on the roster, so manager Terry Collins will have no shortage of options in the later innings.

On the other side, the AL will start with current wins leader Chris Sale, but the White Sox ace has had a bumpy July. The pitchers slated to go behind him – Corey Kluber, Cole Hamels, and Jose Quintana – haven’t exactly had the greatest seasons, either.

The AL has some very good setup men with Kelvin Herrera as well as the Yankees duo of Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller. But without Wade Davis and Craig Kimbrel, there won’t be too many options aside from Zach Britton to close the game out.

Batting Edge: American League (+105)

In terms of power, the edge has to go to the NL. Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant and Bryce Harper are the big-name starters, and they carry even bigger bats. But they’re hardly the only ones who possess immense power. MVP candidates Nolan Arenado and Daniel Muphy will be dangerous once they come off the bench. And even in positions like catcher (Jonathan Lucroy, Wilson Ramos) and shortstop (Corey Seager), this team has serious pop in virtually all positions.

However, the American League arguably has the more well-rounded roster in terms of having both mashers and contact hitters. Eight of the nine AL starters are batting right around .300 or better, including four of the top eight in the majors in batting average (Jose Altuve, David Ortiz, Xander Bogaerts, and Mike Trout). Ortiz and Trout can also go yard, as can Robinson Cano, Josh Donaldson and MLB-leading home-run hitter, Mark Trumbo.

But with all the top pitching on show, putting the bat on the ball will be the more important skill. That’s why the AL, with all its terrific contact hitters, will have the slight edge in overall batting.

Writer’s Prediction: The AL (+105) gets the timely hits and emerges victorious, 6-4.

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Brad
Written by Brad

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