The annual MLB All-Star Game is always a highly-anticipated event.
Among all of the All-Star Games across any major American sport, baseball’s Midsummer Classic is always the most-watched event.
There’s a reason for this.
The game is more competitive, exciting, and features a higher quality of play than many of the All-Star Games in other sports.
That said, it’s probably safe to assume that American League fans enjoy the annual event more than National League fans do.
At least lately, anyway.
After its 5-2 win on Tuesday, the AL has now won eight consecutive All-Star Games.
Is the American League a dynasty?!
— MLB (@MLB) July 14, 2021
Over the last 24 contests, the AL is 20-3-1.
It has been a dominant run for the league, and it begs the question: why?
Let’s try to answer it.
The Game Operates With American League Rules
The MLB All-Star Game uses AL rules for the event.
This means that both teams use the designated hitter, and pitchers do not have to hit in the game.
While this may seem like a small thing, there is definitely some truth to the idea that managing in the AL is far different from managing in the NL.
In real games, NL managers have to constantly get creative with their bench players in order to have a substitute for the pitcher’s spot when it comes up in the order.
Meanwhile, AL managers have the luxury of putting a full-time hitter in at the pitcher’s spot.
Perhaps NL managers having to adjust to AL rules in the All-Star Game is a taller task than it seems like on the surface.
Sometimes, Strange Trends Just Happen Naturally
It would be baseless to say that the AL has more talent than the NL.
Rather, the AL’s recent dominance in the All-Star Game is likely a product of coincidence.
If you flip a coin an infinite amount of times, there will be lengthy streaks at certain points.
It seems like the AL is in the midst of one of those right now.
It would be no surprise to see the NL start to turn things around in the near future.
After all, the all-time series is still very competitive—the AL leads by a score of 46-43.
At the end of the day, it’s very hard to get to the bottom of something like this.
To reiterate, the AL is not simply better than the NL; we’re just in the midst of a strange run.
The American League has now won the last 8 All-Star Games, tying the 2nd-longest win streak in ASG history (NL won 8 straight from 1963-70).
The longest win streak in ASG history is 11 games, set by the National League from 1972-82. pic.twitter.com/xWNG4G4J83
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 14, 2021
One thing is for sure: Fans of NL teams have to be glad that the All-Star Game doesn’t determine home-field advantage in the World Series any longer.
That was a silly rule while it lasted, and it probably got nixed just in time before the AL’s run got out of hand.
With the All-Star break behind us, the focus now turns to the second half of the 2021 MLB season.
There are tons of fringe playoff teams that are going to need a strong second half in order to make things interesting.
It should be a very entertaining few months as playoff races heat up.