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2014 MLB All-Star Game Predictions and Betting Preview

2014 MLB All-Star Game Predictions and Betting Preview

The fans have spoken, as their favorite players take to the field in one night all-star extravaganza.

The American League have dominated the All-Star Game over the last 25 years; they have won 18 times over that period. However, the National League have put up a fight in recent years, having won three of the last four editions of the annual Midsummer Classic. After winning it last season, will the AL build another dynasty, or will the NL take it back?

The All-Star Game denotes that the MLB season has reached its halfway mark. Stay updated with the upcoming baseball action in the second half of the season by reading on the latest previews in our MLB news section here.

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2014 MLB All-Star Game Preview

Where: Target Field, Minneapolis

When: Tuesday, July 15, 8:00 PM ET

Line: National League at American League – view all MLB lines

Keys to the Series

With the game featuring the best baseball players today, both teams are undoubtedly going to be loaded from each position, from top to bottom, from infield to outfield.

Over at manager John Farrell’s American League team, a quick glance at the club’s starting lineup – the hitters in particular – suggests that the National League’s pitching staff will have to deal with the brutish power the AL batting order presents.

[sc:MLB240banner ]On first base is reigning AL MVP Miguel Cabrera (Detroit Tigers). Robinson Cano (Seattle Mariners) will be on second base, while taking the spot at the hot corner is Josh Donaldson (Oakland A’s). Far in the outfield are Jose Bautista (Toronto Blue Jays), Mike Trout (LA Angels), and Adam Jones (Baltimore Orioles). Acting as the team’s designated hitter is Nelson Cruz (Baltimore).

Even more power resides on the bench with Jose Abreu (Chicago White Sox), Edwin Encarnacion (Toronto), and Victor Martinez (Detroit), three of the top five MLB home run hitters this season. Encarnacion, however, is unlikely to play after suffering a right quad strain.

For pitching, Farrell’s pick to start will likely be a toss-up between Yu Darvish (Texas Rangers), Max Scherzer (Detroit), and Felix Hernandez (Seattle). Masahiro Tanaka (NY Yankees) could have been in the mix but the Japanese is set to start two days before the All-Star game.

If the AL team is packed with power from the plate, Mike Matheny’s camp, meanwhile, have players who consistently get on base.

Starters Troy Tulowitzki (Colorado Rockies), Andrew McCutchen (Pittsburgh Pirates), Paul Goldschmidt (Arizona Diamondbacks), Yasiel Puig (LA Dodgers), and reserve Jonathan Lucroy (Milwaukee Brewers) all belong in the top 10 in the majors in on-base percentage. For power, the NL team has Tulo and Giancarlo Stanton (Miami Marlins), who, because of the AL park and AL rules, will handle the designated hitter role. Tulowitzki is No. 2 in the majors in slugging with .605 percentage, while Stanton has a .566 mark. The young Marlin also has 21 homers, fourth-most in the MLB.

The battle for the pitching start in the NL is less of a puzzle than in the AL. Clayton Kershaw is in the midst of an awesome season, and if he has another scoreless outing against the San Diego Padres on July 10 – his last start before the All-Star Game – then expect Matheny to give him the starting duties. Otherwise, it’s going to be either Johnny Cueto (Cincinnati Reds) or Adam Wainwright (St. Louis Cardinals).

Clayton Kershaw

What’s at Stake

The MLB All-Star Game is originally intended to be a showcase of the best talents in baseball. Although that remains to be the main objective of today’s All-Star games, it can’t be taken too lightly by anyone involved in it anymore. That’s because since 2003, MLB has instituted a rule stating that whichever league wins this annual game, its eventual pennant winner will be awarded a home-field advantage in that same season’s World Series.

Last season, the American League won the All-Star Game for the first time since 2008. When the Boston Red Sox celebrated their first World Series title at Fenway Park since 1918 last October, it extended the streak of World Series winners coming from the winning league in the All-Star Game to five straight years.

Writer’s Prediction

The National League, with better pitching and deeper bench, will come away with a close 3-2 win over their American League counterparts. Join in the fun of the All-Star Game by creating a betting account now.

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Written by Rex

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