Swinger's MLB Picks: All-Star Madness Tonight

Swinging Johnson

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 1:42 PM GMT

Tuesday, Jul. 15, 2014 1:42 PM GMT

The stars will be shining in Minnesota tonight as MLB’s showcase between the American and National league gets underway but where is the value, or is there any value, in MLB odds tonight?

The Mid-Summer Classic
Even if you’re not a “baseball guy” you must concede that Major League Baseball has cornered the market on All-Star games in terms of pure competitiveness not to mention that the result, unlike the other three majors, has a direct bearing on their championship game(s). The NFL’s showcase, the Pro Bowl, is painful to watch. You will witness harder hits at the Lingerie Bowl than you will see at their annual gathering of superstars with defense being taboo and aggression viewed as sacrilegious. The same can be said of the NBA and NHL All-Star games where there’s lots of sizzle but no steak. 

But tonight we have MLB’s showcase where the game itself will be played pretty much like any other game during the regular season. The pitchers won’t toss softballs to be cordial, the batters won’t bunt to be polite and the fielders won’t double clutch just to ensure the hitter has a darn good chance at success. However there are some subtle and not so subtle differences between the Mid-Summer Classic versus that of your average big league ballgame and these differences can affect anyone who decides to dabble in the MLB odds of who wins and who loses.

 

What’s the Difference?
Let’s start off with brush back pitches: the hitter is crowding the plate and any Major League hurler worth his salt will react by delivering a little chin music to create space and send a message. There will be none of that tonight as the only music you or anyone else will hear will be blaring from the speakers or from an iPod turned up too loud. Secondly, there will be no home plate collisions. Major League Baseball has already invoked rules to diminish these anyway but at the All-Star game running into a catcher waiting to receive the ball is like picking up your soup bowl and guzzling. It’s just so gauche!

But the most important difference to those who are eyeballing the MLB odds and noting that the game at most offshore betting shops like Bet365.com is a virtual pick’em, is the carousel of pitchers floating in and out of the game at the manager’s whim. There are over a dozen pitchers on each side waiting for their chance to contribute and it is the manager’s job to fulfill that wish. So while there’s no chance of a pitcher getting burned out there is also no shot at a pitcher getting into a groove. The batters too will be freely substituted so that is another wild card if you decide to add the All-Star game to your MLB picks this season. There is nothing you can count on other than being entertained if baseball is the sport that truly floats your boat.

 

So Who Do I Bet – What Do I Do?
Once or twice a year I make the drive 50 minutes north of my home base to one of my favorite restaurants. The food is not only exquisite but they serve dishes I simply cannot find anywhere else. Baked kibbeh browned just right, lima beans delicately dressed in a tomato based sauce over braised lamb, grape leaves with hints of cinnamon, cumin and several other herbs that show up nowhere in my pantry as well as lamb and tenderloin shish kebab fresh off a fired grill. I’m salivating as I write this. But those delicacies would not be as near and dear to my heart if I ate them several times a month.

I bring this up because there was a time when even the casual baseball fan would feel a sense of curiosity to tune into the All-Star game to see those guys from the other league take on the superstars from his. But that curiosity has virtually vanished since the inception of interleague play. Therefore, if the allure and novelty of seeing the two leagues battle has left you for good then put a few bucks on the league of your choice. But if you’re looking to make a quick score with your sports picks tonight, there’s always the WNBA.

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