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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Saturday, June 16, 2012 at 11:34 AM

Heading into Saturday’s action, the American League currently holds a 75-65 record over the National League. Things split out 7-7 Friday Night, which was actually good news for the senior circuit because the Cincinnati Reds and NY Mets were playing each other. Two hot NL teams weren’t involved, yet the NL still broke even.

The main drivers to this point in Interleague action have been impossible to miss…

*The New York Yankees in the American League have the best record of anyone at 8-2. And, that’s been particularly impressive because they’ve been playing tough teams from the NL East. If you take the Yankees out of the mix, the record falls to 67-63 for the AL. So, even though the AL has the better record right now, you’d be hard pressed trying to say they’re the much superior league. They’re a touch better without the Yankees, but not in a way that would make money at Vegas prices if you were betting all the other teams up and down the board.

*The Colorado Rockies in the National League have the worst record of anyone at 1-9. They were winless until stunning the Tigers in Detroit Friday Night. Take that record out, and the AL’s edge is only 66-64. So, the Rockies are having real troubles, and trail the pack significantly…but the National League as a whole is clearly holding its own when you take the Rockies out of the mix.

Now…those two teams…the Yankees and the Rockies…haven’t played each other. So, we can take the math even further. The AL is 17-3 in games involving the Yankees or Rockies, which makes them 58-62 in all other games. The NL is actually winning once you exclude the extreme outliers. Now, we’re not suggesting it’s okay to do that and just declare the NL the best. Obviously not. But, if you’re handicapping one of the many games NOT involving the Yankees or Rockies, you need to realize that you may not be dealing with an AL edge. Yes, the Americans are getting the best of it on the overall scoreboard. Their edge isn’t a comprehensive one…it just involves a couple of teams.

As a result:

*It’s okay to consider live NL underdogs, many have been cashing tickets already and will continue to do so.

*It’s okay to consider cheap NL favorites as long as you’re not bucking the Yankees or taking a flyer on the Rockies. In fact, in  many matchups the NL team is superior while not getting enough respect from the market.

*We generally don’t endorse taking big favorites in MLB action unless the stars are aligned just right. But, if you’re considering one in a game that doesn’t involve either of the outliers, you don’t have to worry about Interleague issues. Just handicap the game you normally would without worrying whether or not one league has a “hidden” advantage over the other. A few years ago…the AL did hold a huge edge that was hidden from the markets because they weren’t paying close enough attention. That doesn’t seem to be the case across the board any more.

Saturday features a very entertaining IL schedule with TV games running all through the day. The MLB Network is showing NY Yankees/Washington at 1 p.m. ET. FOX has regional action in prime time that includes several marquee games (like Miami/Tampa Bay, Baltimore/Atlanta, and Boston/Chicago Cubs). The MLB Network comes back very late to show White Sox/Dodgers for you night owls.

You can be assured many of the top games will be featured by our VSM experts. Among your Saturday options on the jam-packed schedule:

*Kelso Sturgeon has a 50-unit Sold Gold Knockout Play available for just $15. Kelso has really been stepping out in recent weeks, and his big play winning percentage justifies the aggression.

*Jim Feist has an “Under the Radar” Game of the Month for just $20. That’s right, a GAME OF THE MONTH from an industry titan in a matchup that’s being overlooked by the media and the market.

*Tony Salinas has a Saturday Grand Slam with four big monsters (three sides and one total). Just $20 for these high roller games. That’s just five bucks a play for must-have games Tony believes will sweep the board.

The latest news about big plays from our VSM legends is always available on the home page in showcase advertising, and on the “buy picks” pulldown up at the very top. Make sure you visit every day for the very best in baseball and basketball analysis. Hot handicappers are waiting to hear from you!

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