Interleague play has lost special place with MLB bettors

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  • Interleague action used to be one of the most exciting chunks of schedule during the long and grueling MLB season.

    After months of the same ol' divisional

    ...

    Interleague action used to be one of the most exciting chunks of schedule during the long and grueling MLB season.

    After months of the same ol' divisional rivalries and league showdowns, baseball bettors got a brief breath of fresh air when the American and National Leagues would collide.

    But, much like the way the Star Wars franchise was watered down, interleague play was ruined by Major League Baseball wanting to capitalize on the popularity of these AL vs.

    NL battles.

    Now, interleague play isn’t just reserved for a few weeks on the calendar – it’s happening almost every day.

    In fact, interleague became so diluted that MLB.com stopped updating their historical records and stats section for these senior-versus-junior circuit clashes back in 2012.

    As of Monday, which features MLB-wide interleague games, there have already been 89 interleague contests played this season, with the AL holding a slight 48-41 edge over its NL opponents.

    “I think it's a completely different animal now that we see interleague play on a daily basis,” says Covers Expert Sean Murphy.

    “Teams don't seem to be changing their approach as much when hopping leagues.”

    Interleague games offered something different for the industry.

    It threw a bit of a curveball at books and bettors, who had to factor in how a starting pitcher would hit in limited plate appearance or what the impact would be if an NL squad suddenly had a designated hitter.

    There was an aura of the unknown, which leveled the playing field when it came to finding added value in those interleague moneyline and totals.

    There are factors some handicappers still size up when breaking down the odds for American-National affairs, especially when it comes to sending an AL pitcher to the plate for one of their few career at-bats.

    “This does make a huge difference and I try to typically avoid AL teams playing in NL parks unless they have a decided edge in starting pitching or if the NL team is just a bad one,” says Covers Expert Bryan Power of Power Sports.

    “Weak-hitting American League teams can be a good Under bet in NL parks while strong-hitting NL teams can be a good Over bet in AL parks.”

    However, due to the oversaturation of interleague action in the modern MLB era, some bettors are treating these games the same as any other divisional or league matchup.

    “It has been occurring long enough now where the teams are getting comfortable with the different venues and format,” says Covers Expert Steve Merril.

    “I handicap the games the same as regular in-league play using matchups, momentum, and current form.”

    Heading into this week, the most successful interleague squads this season have been the Toronto Blue Jays (6-3), Houston Astros (4-1), Los Angeles Dodgers (3-0), and San Francisco Giants (4-1), while the bottom of the interleague barrel features the Pittsburgh Pirates (1-4), Cincinnati Reds (1-7), and Seattle Mariners (1-4), and Baltimore Orioles (1-4).

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