As always, the Home Run Derby will be a tough act to follow for the MLB All-Star Game. However, it’s looking like it could be a tight game with the National League slightly favored as the home team at -115 while the American League has a moneyline of -105. The game also has an over/under of 11 runs, which is typical of games played at Coors Field.
The Pitchers (NL)
Even in an all-star game, the National League’s pitching is a little watered down, with pitchers like Jacob deGrom, Kevin Gausman, Yu Darvish, and Brandon Woodruff not being available. Max Scherzer will get the start, bringing with him plenty of all-star experience.
However, the National League will be relying on a lot of pitchers who don’t have a lot of experience in the All-Star Game. The likes of German Marquez, Freddy Peralta, Alex Reyes, Corbin Burnes, Trevor Rogers, Taijuan Walker, and Zack Wheeler will all be making their first all-star appearance.
On the other hand, if the National League can carry a lead into the late innings, Mark Melancon, Josh Hader, and Craig Kimbrel will be available to help secure the save. Hader, specifically, could be a nightmare for American League hitters who rarely see him.
The Pitchers (AL)
On the other side, the likes of Shane Bieber, Gerrit Cole, Chris Bassitt, and Ryan Pressly are unavailable, although the American League will have most of its top pitchers available. The caveat is that Shohei Ohtani will start, and while he’s been good on the mound this year, he’s had control issues and is a borderline all-star as a pitcher.
Of course, the AL has a nice contingent of pitchers to follow Ohtani. We should see Kyle Gibson, Nathan Eovaldi, Carlos Rodon, and Lance Lynn fill in the middle innings for the American League. But much like the National League, most of those pitchers are inexperienced in all-star games.
When it comes to closing out games, Matt Barnes, Aroldis Chapman, and Liam Hendriks will be lined up for the late innings. Ordinarily, Chapman would headline that group and could be saved for a 9th-inning save. But his recent struggles could complicate matters for manager Kevin Cash late in the game.
The Hitters (NL)
The National League starting lineup isn’t particularly impressive. Nolan Arenado, Freddie Freeman, and J.T. Realmuto have been borderline all-stars this year, while the Cincinnati Reds‘ tandem of Nicholas Castellanos and Jesse Winker has slumped lately. Plus, the NL is missing Ronald Acuna, Kyle Schwarber, and Mookie Betts. Among the team’s reserves, the most impactful players are all third basemen in Kris Bryant, Manny Machado, and Justin Turner.
The Hitters (AL)
The top half of the AL starting lineup is absolutely loaded, starting with Shohei Ohtani, who will be followed by Vladimir Guerrero, Aaron Judge, Marcus Semien, and others. The power on the bench is also impressive with Matt Olson, Jared Walsh, Joey Gallo, Nelson Cruz, and J.D. Martinez. It’s almost too much power, as the AL could be lacking in speedy table-setters outside of Cedric Mullins and Tim Anderson.
The American League has won seven straight All-Star Games. At Coors Field, look for the hitters to overshadow pitching, which plays to the AL’s advantage because they have superior power. Bet on the American League to win the 2021 MLB All-Star Game.
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