The 2021 MLB All-Star Game is set for Tuesday night. After a year off, it's going to be so nice to see the Midsummer Clasic return. It'll be played in Colorado's Coors Field at 7:30 p.m. ET, between the National League and American League. Here's how to watch.
In the world of wagering, you can get some action on pretty much anything and that obviously includes the 2021 All-Star Game, so let's make some picks.
Odds via William Hill Sportsbook
American League: +101
National League: -111
Good luck figuring this one out analytically. We have no idea how the substitution patterns will work or what pitchers will have anything at all in the thin air for just an inning -- or maybe two -- at a time.
Did you know the American League has won seven in a row and 19 of the last 23 (with one in there being a tie, so the NL is 3-19-1 since 1996)?
This could be a coincidence, but it also could have something to do with the AL having the DH and therefore having a bit of an advantage with the pitchers having a tougher go through lineups and the hitters therefore facing slightly better pitching.
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This is enough for me to like the AL as an underdog here. Let's take 'em.
The pick: AL +101
The run total
Over/under 11 runs
This is a lot more in the comfort zone. I already wrote about the possibility of lots of offense. Here's part of my reasoning:
The average MLB slash line this season is .240/.316/.402. In Coors Field, the slash line is .262/.330/.436. We've often spent time telling people it's not necessarily the home runs -- it's rarely the top home run park -- but due to the thin air, the outfield was built incredibly spacious. It is 347 feet down the left field, a whopping 390 in the left-center gap and 415 to dead center, 375 to the right-center gap and 350 to the right field line with a large wall. Due to how much the ball flies, the outfielders generally play very deep.
You can see where we're headed, right? This leaves open the possibility for an awful lot of singles and even hustle doubles. It's also fair to wonder if, in a game that is just for fun and nothing more, the defenses won't bother much with extreme shifting.
Also, the thin air has been proven to impact movement on pitches. Some play better than others, but overall it's much tougher to pitch here.
We've lamented the need for more action on the field itself and fewer strikeouts, walks and home runs. Given the dimensions of the ballpark, the insane offensive talent for the game and the thin air warping the ability to pitch, it's possible we see a lot of offense. That's all kinds of fun.
I don't exactly know where I'd feel comfortable taking the under, but it sure isn't 11. I'm very confident, due to the reasons stated above, that we fly past the over here. There will be plenty of offense and I wouldn't be surprised if we're ready to cash this one by the sixth inning.
The pick: Over 11 runs