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Handicapping The 2010 All Star Game

American League All-Star David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox hits a home run in the final round during Major League Baseball

Fantasy Baseball Dugout would like to congratulate (and thank) Big Papi for winning the 2010 Home Run Derby. We picked him to win, our logic was pretty simple, and he made us look good.

So, now that the Derby is out of the way, will Ortiz’s performance have any effect on how we handicap the All Star Game?

Not really. The amount of Home Run Derby winners who have homered in the game the following night isn’t that high. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t think the American League is going to win.

Currently, the American League is the favorite to win tonight’s contest. The betting line is set at 1.5. The AL has won the last 12 All-Star Games – forgetting that tie a couple years back. So will the ridiculous winning streak continue in 2010?

Former Angels player, and now Texas RangersWe believe so. That said, the smart bet may actually be on the National League. The Senior Circuit is getting 1.5, and only twice in the last eight All Star Games has the winner covered that spread.

So, if you’re making a straight up bet at the bar tonight with your buddies, you’d be foolish to place your money on the NL. After looking at these rosters, it just doesn’t seem feasible that the National League will end the losing streak tonight.

However, if you’re placing your wager in the trusted hands of your offshore sportsbook, we recommend putting your money on the NL. Because even though they will lose, they’ll probably only lose by a run. Covering the spread equals cash in your pocket.

And if you’re looking for an All Star Game MVP pick, our money right now is on Vladimir Guerrero. He will be returning to the game for the first time since 2007 and will also be returning to Anaheim, where he no doubt was a fan favorite. Vlad has a flair for the dramatic, and in eight All-Star appearances, he’s a career .278 hitter with one home run and one RBI.

I don’t believe he will have a pitched served to him a la Chan Ho Park to Cal Ripken a few years back, but Vlad certainly has a chance to go yard in an AL win… which is good karma for winning an MVP.

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