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Do Bettors Like the New All-Star Game Format?
by Bovada Sportsbook

Anyone who has watched the All-Star Game in the past can understand why baseball had to make some changes. It had become a meaningless game already and when the game was suddenly called because neither team had any pitchers left and thus ended in a 7-7 tie, the mid-summer tradition had hit an all-time low.

Anyways, the MLB marketing machine spent a large portion of the last 12 months trying to come up with some way to make the All-Star Game more interesting for fans. It was decided that the game needed to be made more important for the players so that there would be more reason for them to try and win and so the decision to award home field advantage for the World Series to the team that wins the All-Star Game was made.

We could debate for hours the merits of this decision, but I haven't seen any sports writers talk about the merits of even making the decision. Who cares if the game is interesting or not? I cannot imagine that TV revenues for this one game are so potentially lucrative that baseball is bucking tradition for a few extra dollars. The NBA and NHL All-Star Games and NFL Pro Bowl have no competitive value and are in fact generally only showcases for offensive skills as the physical contact that is needed for effective defense is rarely displayed to anywhere near the same degree it is during the regular season or playoffs. Yet, nobody seems to be worried about those games.

My theory is that unlike the other sports, baseball's All-Star Game can be even better then the regular season games because most of the game play is based on the skills of one player at a time. The team aspects (defensive positioning, where to be when the ball is in play, etc.) are so standard that any player can step into his regular position and be as effective as he would on his regular team. Thus it is the one All-Star Game among the four major sports that can be used as a vehicle to promote the game.

In addition, the MLB All-Star Game has a virtual monopoly on the sports world at this time of year. Yes there were a couple of soccer games, a CFL game and a trio of WNBA games on the board, but does that really count as competition when compared to what the other major sports have to deal with? The NFL and NHL games were the same day this year and had to compete with a regular slate of NBA and NCAA games. The NBA All-Star Game was the following weekend and had to compete with college hoops and NHL.

In addition, proposition betting (prop betting for short) has been very strong. First player to hit a home run, most hits, most strikeouts, etc. are always popular for TV games as they give bettors something to root for even if the game is out of reach.

5Dimes Sportsbook