American League favored over National League tonight

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Betting on the All-Star game seems like the kind of thing that might finally convince someone they have a serious gambling problem, so I’ll pass this along purely from a “this is sort of interesting” standpoint: Tonight the American League are -140 favorites over the National League.

For the non-degenerates in the crowd, that means to win $100 betting on the American League to win you’d have to risk $140. For that to be profitable the AL would have win about 60 percent of the time (they’re the “home” team and home teams during the regular season have won 52 percent of the time).

On one hand the National League has actually won back-to-back All-Star games. On the other hand the American League has won interleague play every season since 2004. And on a third hand … don’t bet on the All-Star game.

Phillies owner John Middleton is in Las Vegas with Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper
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Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that Phillies owner John Middleton flew to Las Vegas for a meeting with Bryce Harper on Friday. Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, it’s “more of a meet-and-greet than a sign-a-deal” affair, but as the club is still at the forefront of trade rumors involving the All-Star slugger, there remains a possibility (however slight) that something could be completed in the days to come.

Even now, the Phillies aren’t alone in the race to sign Harper, but recent rumors have helped whittle down the competition from five or more teams (Phillies, Nationals, White Sox, Giants, and Padres) to three strong contenders. The Giants are said to be interested in a lucrative short-term deal with the outfielder, while the Padres remain in the conversation despite inking Manny Machado to a mammoth 10-year, $300 million contract this week. It’s not yet clear just how far either team would go to outbid Philadelphia as talks with Harper intensify.

As for the Nationals and White Sox, the former officially bowed out earlier today, and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman adds that the latter won’t make a strong play for Harper as they feel the asking price and competing offers are “getting too high” for the 26-year-old’s services. If a mystery team is still in the mix, there’s been no word on their standing with Harper in the last month or so.