We have finally made it to the All-Star break, and coming up are some of the most exciting days of the baseball season.
This weekend from the hitter-friendly Coors Field in Denver, Colorado is sure to be something that baseball fans and sports fans alike won’t want to miss.
Monday will see eight of this season’s best power hitters in baseball face off in a tournament for the MLB’s Home Run Derby. The derby will be missing some big-time names such as Toronto Blue Jays superstar Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Nationals outfielder Kyle Schwarber, and young star Fernando Tatis Jr. of the San Diego Padres.
Guerrero Jr. and Tatis Jr. both opted out citing rest and potential injury concerns if they were to compete in the contest, and Schwarber is still healing from a hamstring strain that he suffered a couple of weeks back.
With virtually nothing else to watch in the sports world on Monday night, the Derby is sure to catch a lot of attention.
Todays Sports 2.0 Pick of the Day
Following Monday’s power-filled affair, baseball fans will be treated to the annual luxury of the MLB All-Star game that will see baseball’s best duel it out in an NL versus AL matchup.
With so much action, this week features lots of betting options and opportunities, so we are going to give you the best value picks.
MLB HR Derby
This should be a wild one.
This field, while not as powerful as it could be based on their home run numbers this year, features some absolute units from the plate.
The top seed in the bracket is none other than this year’s home run leader, Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels. Ohtani has been nothing short of spectacular this year, hitting 33 home runs and collecting 70 RBIs, all while pitching 67 innings from the mound.
The field chasing him however has some serious power threats.
2019 Home Run Derby champion Pete Alonso is returning to defend his crown after winning one of the most exciting Derby’s in recent history.
After squeaking out tough victories in the first and second round in 2019, he managed to beat then fellow rookie Vlad Guerrero Jr. for the derby crown by a score of 23-22. He will be looking to repeat his luck this year.
The field also features many players who have hit tons of home runs over their careers.
Through 392 games, Juan Soto has already launched 80 home runs. Soto is seen as more of a line-drive hitter, but the atmosphere and location of Coors Field may play to his benefit to carry the balls over the wall.
Unfortunately for Soto, he has to duel with the favorite Shohei Ohtani in the first round.
The last major threat I see to Ohtani has to be Joey Gallo. He has been on an absolute tear entering the break and has one of the most powerful swings in Major League Baseball.
He has 144 home runs on his career so far, 24 on the season, and since the MLB has cracked down on substance use by pitchers, he has been absolutely raking it totaling over 11 homers in that time frame.
Odds from PointsBet show Ohtani as the clear favorite to win the contest at +205. He is followed by Joey Gallo at +450 and Pete Alonso at +500.
While Ohtani may present the easiest choice, Pete Alonso or Joey Gallo easily present the most value for bettors in both to-win bets and longest home run bets.
We’re liking Joey Gallo’s odds to bring home the crown after heading into the All-Star Break on the biggest run out of the field.
And with Ohtani, Gallo, and Soto all being left-handed batters, bettors may want to look at putting some money on a Left Handed Batter to Win at -155.
The only true competition to this would be Mets slugger Pete Alonso, but the previously mentioned trio has a good shot of stealing away the crown from the reigning champion.
Best Bets for HR Derby: Joey Gallo to WIN (+450) Left Handed Batter to WIN (-155)
MLB All-Star Game
The 2021 MLB All-Star Game will take place on Tuesday night (7:30 p.m. ET, FOX) from Coors Field in Denver, as the superstars from the American League take on the superstars of the National League once again.
Last season’s event was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, so this year’s game will be the first since 2019 when the AL got the better of the NL 4-3 at Progressive Field in Cleveland.
Dating back to 2013, the American League has won seven straight All-Star games against the National League, but bettors think that could change this year as the NL come in as slight favorites from Coors Field.
PointsBet has the NL slightly ahead in odds sitting at -113 while the AL is at -104. The bettors are looking for this game to change the script as previously mentioned the AL has won seven straight MidSummer Classics, and they have won 25 of the last 32.
They completely have the National League’s number.
Both sides feature very strong pitching staffs, and their batting lineups are nearly equal in terms of production, so we are going to be in store for yet another close matchup. Once again the story in this one will most likely be the two-way star Shohei Ohtani.
He is likely to both pitch and bat in the All-Star game after being the first person ever to be voted in as both a position player and a pitcher.
While there are some juicy odds outside of the simple Moneyline for either side or the Over/Under, such as the All-Star Game MVP odds, or number of home runs, I don’t have too much faith in them.
I’m tempted to cautiously take the National League to win their first All-Star game in eight years, and end the long streak for the American League. The NL has some great depth throughout their batting lineup and their pitching staff, and it should be enough to carry them to victory.
With pitching being absolutely dominant in the MLB this year, it is hard to think that this one will carry over it’s set total of 8.5 runs. Look for pitching to dominate and for the NL and AL’s lineups to capitalize off of a few power shots for their runs.
Best Bets for All-Star Game: National League ML (-113) u8.5 runs (-110)