If the Major League Baseball playoffs started today, the Red Sox would have home-field advantage throughout the American League postseason. As for the World Series? Which league gets the potential advantage in the Fall Classic will be determined Tuesday night at the Mets’ Citi Field. The National League has won three-straight All-Star Games and opened as the -130 favorite.
The last Red Sox player to win All-Star Game MVP honors was J.D. Drew in 2008, the only appearance in Drew’s career. The AL won that game at Yankee Stadium 4-3 in 15 innings. Drew didn’t start — Boston’s Manny Ramirez and Dustin Pedroia did — but had a two-run homer among his two hits as well as a steal. The previous Red Sox to win MVP honors was Pedro Martinez in 1999 in the Fenway Park game.
Boston’s David Ortiz will start at designated hitter and bat No. 6 in the AL lineup on Tuesday. Big Papi is 33-1 to win MVP honors along with Pedroia, who is a reserve with the Yankees’ Robinson Cano the starter at second base. Big Papi has had plenty of All-Star success in his career, going 5-for-14 with a homer (in his first ASG in 2004) and three RBIs. Pedroia is 0-for-1 with a walk in his ASG career. This is his fourth appearance, and he didn’t get to play in his past two.
That the American League scores first in the game is a -140 favorite, with the NL at +110. Of course, the AL is the visiting team and will bat first. The hitters certainly will have their work cut out for them against NL starting pitcher Matt Harvey of the Mets. He’s the first pitcher to start an All-Star Game in his home park since Roger Clemens with Houston nine years ago.
The Mets skipped Harvey’s scheduled start Saturday, so he’ll be plenty fresh, although it’s unlikely he goes more than two innings. Harvey leads the National League in strikeouts and is the first Mets pitcher to start the Midsummer Classic since Doc Gooden in 1988. Ortiz has never faced Harvey in a big-league game. Harvey is 18-1 to win MVP honors. Martinez was the last pitcher to do so in ’99, when he memorably struck out Barry Larkin, Larry Walker, Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire consecutively.
Harvey will certainly have his work cut out for him in the top of the first inning with the Angels’ Mike Trout leading off, followed by Cano and then the double-whammy of Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera and Baltimore’s Chris Davis, should it get to Davis in that inning. He and Cabrera are the first players ever to enter the break with at least 30 home runs and 90 RBIs. Cabrera is 12-1 for MVP and Davis 14-1.
The favorite to win the MVP is the Mets’ David Wright, the NL’s starter at third, at 10-1. He’ll hit cleanup. Those NL hitters will start off against the Tigers’ Max Scherzer, who is tied for the big-league lead with 13 wins. His only loss of the year came in his last start. Scherzer may be limited to an inning by AL manager Jim Leyland after throwing 122 pitches Saturday.
This post is presented by Bovada.