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All Star Action.

Baseball’s mid-summer classic offers a variety of options for gamblers to cash in at the ol’diamond.

All four of the major professional sports have an All Star Game, but none of them can compare to the intensity of the Midsummer Classic in baseball.

Players from the NFL and NHL both hold back their aggressions in their respective games due to possible injuries, while the NBA’s contest is often seen as a playground.

Despite the plethora of talent in all three sports, baseball is the only game where guys really like to bring it on. Major League Baseball was the first event of its kind in professional sports to hold this type of exhibition, at Chicago’s Comiskey Park in 1933.

By the way, did we mention that major league baseball also decided to toss a trump card into the result of this exhibition game? That’s right folks; whichever team (AL/NL) captures this contest will also earn homefield for the World Series, regardless of record. You may not think it’s a big deal, but ask the St. Louis Cardinals who had to play the first two games at Fenway Park against Boston in last year’s World Series, despite winning a league-high 105 games.

Some critics might not even consider wagering on an exhibition event, yet alone an All Star game. But you gamble to make money, and this contest offers value.

Detroit’s Comercia Park will be the host city for the 76th All Star Game on July, 12. This will be the fourth appearance in the Motor City for the Midsummer Classic, with the three earlier meetings being played at Briggs/Tiger Stadium in 1941, 1951 and 1971.

The National League owns a slight 41-32-2 edge over the American League in the previous 75 meetings. Despite the lead, AL backers have seen their squad win eight straight games and 15 of the last 20 over the NL.

This game is just like any other wagering event, with multiple betting options. The most common bet is either on the favorite or underdog. All you have to do is pick the winner after nine innings. Point spreads aren’t available in baseball, but run-lines are the closest thing.

All run lines start at 1 ½ runs and when you lay the number, you’re usually given back positive odds for doing so. Taking the runs seems like an attractive wager, since you’re starting the first inning with a lead. And, 24 of the 75 previous All Star games have been decided by one run. This also includes the two ties.

Another common bet is on the ‘over/under’ in baseball and lately the All Stars have been putting up some big numbers. The last three All Star games have seen an average of 13.3 runs per game, helping the ‘over’ go 3-0 in this spot.

Considering this is the fourth visit to Detroit for the All Star game, it’s always good to look at past performances. The AL captured two of the three previous meetings, while all three tilts have eclipsed the double-digit mark (11 RPG). Keep in mind that these games were played at Tiger Stadium, which used to see the ball jump out of the park.

The Tigers’ new home, Comerica Park, is widely known as a pitchers’ park. It should be an interesting weekend of events, especially the Home Run Derby. If you take into the factors of Comerica Park and the first year of steroids, then you could be looking at single digit dongs in the slugfest.

Some casinos offer propositions on the Derby and the All Star Game too. Player props have been the most intriguing and should be broken down carefully. It’s tough to tell who win the ‘Most Valuable Player’ award, but I wouldn’t put my money on a pitcher anytime soon. Only three hurlers have claimed the hardware in the last 20 All Star games.

Also, if you’re looking at certain players, then take a look where they play their home games. You don’t want to suspect favoritism at this level, but the managers ultimately control who plays the game.

Every All Star Game is managed by the two teams who played in last year’s World Series. This season, the Red Sox’s Terry Francona and Cardinals’ Tony LaRussa have earned the honors.

If you’re still looking for an angle, then perhaps you can make a case for LaRussa. This will be his fourth trip as the manager of the Midsummer Classic after making three previous trips with his tenure for the Oakland Athletics. LaRussa is only 1-3 in the World Series, but a perfect 3-0 in the All Star Game. Can you say 4-0? We’ll find out in July.

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