Betting on the All-Star Game is asking for trouble. It’s an exhibition game. Better off hitting the craps table. Or even roulette. Or, better yet, just chill.
But that doesn’t mean tonight’s baseball game can’t be fun, especially following some of the quirky props for entertainment (or nominal plays) only.
♦ It’s been 55 years since Johnny Callison hit a walkoff homer to win the 1964 All-Star Game and claim the Phillies only All-Star Game MVP award. DraftKings is offering J.T. Realmuto at 50-1, the Westgate in Vegas has 60-1 and the Jersey app PointsBet has 80-1. Brian McCann in 2010 is the only catcher to win All-Star MVP in the last 21 years.
♦ Parx, SugarHouse and DraftKings have Realmuto at 14-1 to homer tonight. Realmuto is the National League’s third catcher and might not even play. FanDuel had 7-1. Yuck. The last Phillie to homer in an ASG was Mike Schmidt in 1981.
♦ There are 3-inning and 5-inning wagers for those not interested in hanging until the end. PointsBet’s three-inning line is American League minus half a run. The odds aren’t very welcoming with the National League -191 and the AL at +146.
♦ FanDuel has a 5-inning money-line prop of NL +115, AL +100 and tied score at +500.
♦ Not every 'book had MVP odds up on Tuesday morning, but the ones that did had Mike Trout at 10-1.
♦ In the last 10 years, five starters have won the MVP and five reserves. The last two (Alex Bregman in 2018 and Robinson Cano in 2017) came off the bench.
♦ William Hill’s sportsbook had -110 both ways on over/under of 19.5 strikeouts. In the last two years, there were 25 and 23 combined strikeouts, respectively. Maybe the guys are swinging for the fences now that homefield advantage for the World Series is no longer at stake for the winner.
♦ The over/under is 8.5 runs. The American League has won the last six All-Star game and are slight favorites tonight around -110 or -115. FanDuel is offering a line of +122 that the AL will not bat in the bottom of the ninth inning.
♦ And finally, it doesn’t get any more random than this. The Westgate is offering Justin Verlander’s first pitch of a strike (-165) or a ball (+145). This will be the second All-Star start for Verlander, who was shelled for five runs in the first inning in 2010. His first pitch to Colorado slugger Carlos Gonzalez that night in Kansas City? A called strike.