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A Preview Of The 2008 All-Star Game/Tuesday, July 15
While the MLB All Star game is looked at as a break by most baseball bettors, for the sharps, it's another betting opportunity to profit with. Bookmakers, in an attempt to create interest and action, often offer as many props and side wagers as they do on the Super Bowl. There will be prop bets on hits, runs, walks, homeruns, you name. Not to mention odds on all of the festivities leading up to the game, such as the Home Run Derby. So do your homework. Check out all the props as they are posted at Sportsbook.com
This yearís classic will be played at historic Yankee Stadium, which will closed itsí gates forever at the end of this season. Yankee Stadium will be the MVP of this game as baseball bids goodbye to the most storied arena in sports. Expect a marathon pregame show, because an infield full of Yankee greats and Hall of Famers are slated to be honored. Expect also to see a massive photographer scrum in the stands if Madonna shows up to cheer on Alex Rodriguez. And oh yes, the game counts for something -- the winning league secures home field advantage for its representative in the World Series this October.
Since 1997 the American League has pitched a shut out going 10-0-1. They accomplished that unbelievable trend with patience, power and sprinkled in was speed. Can they do it again with those ingredients or has the National League stirred up a better recipe? Letís look at both leagues for tonightís game.
The NL Quick Facts For The Starters: Soto is chasing Piazza-type numbers: Soto is chasing Piazza-type numbers:
Astros 1B Lance Berkman returned to the starting lineup Monday against the Pirates after missing one game because of an eye irritation. Berkman had a RBI double in four at-bats. He also walked once, and now has 29 doubles and 70 RBI on the season
Utley is batting .200 (4-for-20) over his last five games, but he has two home runs during that stretch.
Chipper Jonesí average keeps dropping and his major league-leading average has sunk to .379. Only once since Ralph Garr's 1974 batting title with Atlanta had a Brave led the NL in hitting.
Ramirez was hitless in his first two games after returning from a personal leave of absence, but he has shown his All-Star form in the last two games smacking 4 hits.
Braun is a young hitter who is going to go through patterns of hot and cold. He seems to be completely over his hand injury. His power potential makes him one of many dangerous hitters in this lineup.
Fukudome has just six hits in his last nine games and doesn't have a multi-hit game since June 27. Luckily, the All-Star voting didn't start at the beginning of July because Fukudome because he has been anything but in the last few weeks.
The AL Quick Facts For The Starters: Mauer now has two homers in his last seven games, matching the total from his first 71 games this season. Power surge? Unlikely, but Mauer is one of the best hitters in baseball.
Youkilis has hit over .300 every month of the season, and you have to love that kind of consistency.
2B Dustin Pedroia extended his career-best hitting streak to 16 games with a sixth-inning single Tuesday against the Twins. He finished 2-for-4 with a run scored. He's batting .486 (34-for-70) during the streak.
Alex Rodriguez tied Mickey Mantle for 13th place on the home run list, hitting No. 536 Sunday night in the New York Yankees' game against the Boston Red Sox. Rodriguez's 18th home run of the season came in the second inning against Boston knuckleballer Tim Wakefield. A-Rod took a curtain call after circling the bases. Next up for the 32-year-old Rodriguez is Mike Schmidt, who finished with 548 homers. Mantle hit all of his homers for the Yankees in a career that began in 1951 and ended in 1968. Rodriguez has 191 homers since joining the Yankees in 2004.
Jeter is heating up heading into the break.
Ramirez is still hitting only .208 (5-for-24) in July, but he's too good of a hitter not to break out of this slump soon. He remains one of the better power hitters in baseball.
Josh Hamilton leads baseball with 87 RBIís. Enough said.
Ichiro is finally hitting over .300 and has begun to heat in recent weeks. He used his recent hot streak to solidify another All-Star selection.
Final Thought: The game feels like an offensive display and the AL Pitching looks a little better.
Main Pick: Over
Side Pick: AL