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By Alex Lauzon from the “Course of Life” podcast
SLUGGERS IN SEATTLE
We’re now a half season into the re-touched, revamped, and sped-up version of MLB baseball in 2023 and the votes are unanimously in favor of the changes to the game. Not only have we brought down the pace of play by almost 30 minutes to an average game time of closer to 2:36, but the revised pace and rules are still allowing for walk-off moments, jaw-dropping displays of offense without the past boredom and pitching performances as good as a perfect game by Domingo German. Baseball is in a better spot than previous All-Star breaks with a lot of fresh talent, and that talent will be on full display at next week’s MLB All-Star week festivities.
It’s a midseason break from betting MLB sides but there’s absolutely some money to be won on both Monday and Tuesday night of All-Star week in Seattle. Let’s get to the lines and sides and profile the MLB stars on display for this year’s mid-summer classic in the PNW.
The 2022 Home Run Derby was a laser show for the ages, eventually taken down in the finals by slugger Juan Soto. Though Soto took the crown, runner-up and young Mariners star Julio Rodriguez was the real highlight factory at Dodgers Stadium. His record-shattering rounds of 32 and 31 home runs to propel him to the finals were jaw-dropping, but he ran out of gas against Soto in the finals and fell short. Now in 2023 with Seattle’s T-Mobile Park as the host venue for All-Star Week Festivities, Rodriguez is thrust back into the derby spotlight and is in the lead pack of favorites to win at ( ) odds. There’s no doubt the majority of the Seattle crowd will be willing him through each round in hopes the hometown kid gets it done. He’s followed up closely in the books by Mookie Betts, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., and a guy named Pete Alonso going for his third crown…also announced recently to the derby was the inclusion of star outfielder Randy Arozarena, and the same format is in place where a bracket will reveal the four opening round head-to-heads. My guess is it should take somewhere in the neighborhood of 80-85 home runs spread across the three rounds to emerge out of this bracket of sluggers.
Alex’s Pick: Julio Rodriguez (+550), Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (+450)
For the mid-summer classic featuring the elite of the game, it’s a collection of the biggest names in the world of baseball to some unheralded stars making their debuts in Seattle. Interestingly enough, the Texas Rangers offense tells the story of how balloting and voting went for the AL Roster – they lead the league with four position players making the All-Star rosters. The AL roster features the Trout-Ohtani bash bros combo from Anaheim, Arozarena from the white-hot Tampa Bay Rays, and Randy’s teammate Yandy Diaz, who was also elected to the game for the first time in his career. Shohei Ohtani could both pitch and hit very early in the action.
As for the NL lineup, it’s a clear representation of the Braves and Dodgers continuing to lead the charge offensively, as over half of the lineup is from those two squads. Corbin Carroll from the surprise Diamondbacks and Luis Arraez of the Marlins are some fresher faces for the National League’s opening hitters, and Clayton Kershaw still reigns supreme as he heads to his 10th All-Star game, a record amongst this year’s participants. Bat for bat and arm for arm, the NL Lineup looks a little juicier and less injured than the American League stars so I give them the early lean on taking the Tuesday night glorified exhibition.
Alex’s Early Pick: National League (+105)
Where to Watch: Catch the Derby Monday 7/10 at 8 pm ET, and the 2023 All-Star Game Tuesday night on FOX at 8 pm E.T.
Neat Tech: ESPN2 will be producing a stat-geek titled broadcast of the derby, so you don’t miss one absurd calculation on the distance these balls are flying out of the park.
Celebrity Softball MVP Pick: The Miz or former MLB-er Mike Cameron, if he tries.
How do you play baseball survivor pool?
In a MLB Survivor pool, players pick one MLB team every week that they think will win. Each team can only be picked one time per season. A player survives to the next week if their chosen team wins at least half of its games that week. Administrators can select how many incorrect picks (strikes) before a player is eliminated.
What is a baseball survivor pool?
In a MLB Survivor pool, players choose one pro team each week that they believe will win. They may only pick a team once per season. If their selected team wins 50% or more of its games for that week they survive until the next week. Pool commissioners may select how many 'strikes' (incorrect picks) before a player is eliminated.
What is a 13-run baseball pool?
A 13 Run Baseball pool is a simple but fun pool for Pro Baseball. Each member (maximum of 30) is assigned a professional team. The goal is to be the first member to have their team score every number of runs, from 0 to 13. In some pools the number of runs can be changed to be from 6 to 13.
What are MLB props?
Each game, MLB players have certain prop lines that are assigned to them. These can be for base hits, strikeouts, walks, and other stats. For example, Mike Trout could have a line of over 1.5 base hits for a game. If he has 2 base hits that game, his prop would go over.