MLB All-Star Game: What bettors need to know
American League at National League (-125, 8)
Four players from the Big Apple will take center stage Tuesday when the National League hosts the American League in the 84th All-Star Game at Citi Field, home of the New York Mets. David Wright and NL starting pitcher Matt Harvey represent the Mets while Yankees closer Mariano Rivera of the AL will appear in his final All-Star Game and be joined by teammate Robinson Cano. Right-hander Max Scherzer of Detroit, who became the first pitcher in 27 years to begin a season 13-0, starts for the AL.
The National League puts its three-game winning streak on the line after the American League won the previous seven Mid-Summer Classics since the 2002 edition ended in a 7-7 tie. That verdict prompted commissioner Bud Selig to make the game "count" by awarding the winning league home-field advantage in the World Series, which coincidentally has been won by the NL for the past three seasons. The AL, which won five straight prior to 2002, claimed four of the seven World Series during its post-tie winning streak.
Last year's All-Star Game finished 8-0 in favor of the NL, just playing
under the 8.5-run total set by oddsmakers. That marked the seventh
straight season the under has cashed in during the Mid-Summer Classic,
with an average of 6.57 collective runs scored between 2006 and 2012. This year's game has drawn a total of eight runs from sportsbooks.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, Fox
PITCHING MATCHUP: American League RH Max Scherzer (13-1, 3.19 ERA) vs. National League RH Matt Harvey (7-2, 2.35)
American League manager Jim Leyland of Detroit didn't have a difficult decision in choosing his own in Scherzer, who suffered his first loss of the season Saturday against Texas after matching Roger Clemens' 13-0 start in 1986. After Scherzer, Leyland could turn to Seattle ace Felix Hernandez (10-4, 2.53), who last pitched Saturday with Tuesday being his throwing day between starts anyway. Leyland has a bevy of relievers from which to choose including five closers, but there's little doubt who will get the ball should the AL enjoy the lead entering the bottom of the ninth inning.
National League manager Bruce Bochy's decision to start Harvey at his home ballpark was made easier when St. Louis' Adam Wainwright (12-5, 2.45) pitched Sunday, making him ineligible to appear in the All-Star Game. Bochy could choose a left-hander from a rival NL West team - Arizona's Patrick Corbin (11-1, 2.35) or Los Angeles' Clayton Kershaw (8-8, major league-leading 1.98 ERA) - to relieve Harvey. Bochy has four closers at his disposal including Pittsburgh's Jason Grilli, who leads the NL with 29 saves, but he will be tempted to use Cincinnati flame-thrower Aroldis Chapman.
1. Rivera, who will retire at the end of the season, will make his AL team-leading 13th All-Star Game appearance. He is the all-time saves leader with 638 and leads the No. 2 active player - fellow All-Star Joe Nathan of Texas - by 310. St. Louis OF Carlos Beltran (eighth appearance) is the senior member of the NL squad.
2. A pair of AL starters - Baltimore 1B Chris Davis (major league-leading 37 home runs, 93 RBIs) and Detroit 3B Miguel Cabrera (30 HRs, major league-leading 95 RBIs) - are the first two players in major-league history to have 30 or more home runs and 90 or more RBIs prior to the All-Star break.
3. The NL leads the series 43-38-2 and has outscored the AL 16-2 in the past three games, including 8-0 last season in Kansas City, Mo.