MLB All-Star Game 2018: Why the National League is home team for the second straight year
The NL has hosted the last three All-Star Games, including 2016 when the AL was the designated home team
In a strange quirk, the National League is going to host the All-Star Game in back-to-back years after doing so in Miami last year. Of course, Nationals Park is the Nationals’ home field, and the Nationals are a National League team. So it would be fair to ask yourself: Why in the world wouldn’t the National League be the home team for the 2018 All-Star Game?
The answer is simple, and really only comes down to fairness: An NL ballpark has hosted every All-Star Game since 2015, when the Minnesota Twins hosted at Target Field. Since then, it’s been at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, Petco Park in San Diego, Marlins Park in Miami and, now, Nationals Park in Washington D.C. Next season, Progressive Field in Cleveland will host, before the game heads to Los Angeles in Dodger Stadium. In 2016, despite being played at Petco Park,.
Basically, MLB generally wants to alternate years. While Nationals Park houses the Washington Nationals, it wouldn’t be home to the National League on Tuesday if the Indians weren’t hosting next season and the Dodgers the year after that. After this season, there should be at least some return to normalcy for the host teams.
MLB isn’t assigning hosting duties based on what would give fair representation. Both teams will have plenty of fans. However, there’s no question that there are strange quirks to how MLB determines home vs. away.
The American League All-Stars enter Tuesday night’s MLB All-Star Game in the midst of a five-year winning streak. The AL will try to extend its winning streak in this Tuesday’s 2018 All-Star Game.
Chris Sale gets the start for the American League, who are -130 favorites in Washington at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Max Scherzer takes the mound in front of his home crowd for the National League as a +110 underdog.
American League vs. National League
When: Tuesday, July 16, 8:00 p.m. ET
Where: Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
Betting Line / Total: American League -130 / 7 Runs
American League vs. National League OddsShark Matchup Report
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American League All-Stars
At the break, the top three teams in the majors both in the standings and on the betting board to win the World Series are the 68-30 Boston Red Sox (+450 to win the World Series), the 62-33 New York Yankees (+500) and the 64-35 Houston Astros (+450).
These three American League powerhouses will be well-represented in the All-Star Game and have four players in the starting lineup including Jose Altuve, Aaron Judge, J.D. Martinez and Mookie Betts. Six pitchers are also available from these three teams including starting pitcher Chris Sale.
In 30 MLB All-Star Games since 1988, (40-26-1) the American League has held a staggering 23-6-1 advantage over the National League. This includes an even more impressive 17-3-1 record for the American League over the last 21 All-Star Games.
National League All-Stars
This year’s National League team will try to buck the trend. The Milwaukee Bucks fizzled out before the break, losing each of their last six games to fall to 55-43 and lose their lead in the NL Central to the Chicago Cubs. Still, their impact on the first half is felt in the All-Star Game with three starters in the starting lineup in Lorenzo Cain, Christian Yelich, and Jesus Aguilar. The pitching staff is led by Max Scherzer, Jacob deGrom and Aaron Nola.
The total for the All-Star Game is set at seven runs. Five of the last eight All-Star Games have gone UNDER the posted total.
In general, All-Star Games are tough to cap due to the fact that both teams are loaded. But you could make the case that not only has the American League dominated this game in recent years, but it also has the superior roster and pitching staff going on names and production this season.
Even though the line has moved from its opener of the AL at -125, it still feels like there may be value on the favorites in this one.