This is a big week for American baseball. We’ve just wrapped up MLB history across the pond with the first-ever London Series, but the action is now set to continue with All Star Week festivities. Along with the Celebrity All Stars Softball Game and the MLB Futures Game on Sunday as well as the Home Run Derby tonight, you’ve got to catch the main event: the MLB All Star Game. The final All Stars have been voted in and the rosters have been set, and now we get to see the best of the American League take on the best of the National League!
The fans, the players, and the Commissioner’s office all have a vote in the selection. There are 31 MLB players going to their first All Star game this year, including three rookies. Maybe this is a controversial opinion, but we think the MLB does this “All Star” thing better than any of the other professional sports. It feels like we really get to see the best of each position take the field!
The 2019 MLB All Star game takes place at Progressive Field in Cleveland on Tuesday, July 9th at 7:30PM. It’s a great way to catch all of your favorite players in action, all at the same time. Whether you check it out in person or watch it on TV, here’s a little about what you can expect from this year’s teams…
The American League All Stars
The starting lineup for the American League looks like this:
- Catcher: Gary Sanchez – New York Yankees
- First Base: Carlos Santana – Cleveland Indians
- Second Base: DJ LeMahieu – New York Yankees
- Third Base: Alex Bregman – Houston Astros
- Shortstop: Jorge Polanco – Minnesota Twins
- Outfield: Mike Trout – Los Angeles Angels, George Springer – Houston Astros, Michael Brantley – Houston Astros
As for pitchers, there are over 16 of them, including the likes of Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, Aroldis Chapman, and John Means. A few selected All Star pitchers like Mike Minor, Charlie Morton, and Marcus Stroman have already been replaced on the roster due to scheduling conflicts or injuries.
In terms of records, Verlander and Trout have each been named as an All Star a whopping eight times! Verlander is also the oldest All Star to make the cut this year at 36 years and some change. His team, the Houston Astros, has the most All Stars of any team in the MLB with six.
So who’s gonna win it? Well, the American League has won the All Star Game for the past six straight years. The all-time record for this midsummer classic is tight at 44 – 43 – 2 with the AL up by just one game overall. According to Vegas, things don’t look to change much this year either, with oddsmakers picking the American League (-120) to win it again. Alex Cora will manage the AL team and he’s got dynamite pitchers to choose from. With stars like Gary Sanchez and Alex Bregman on the roster too, they’ll definitely be tough to beat!
The National League All Stars
Here’s the starting lineup for the National League:
- Catcher: Willson Contreras – Chicago Cubs
- First Base: Freddie Freeman – Atlanta Braves
- Second Base: Ketel Marte – Arizona Diamondbacks
- Third Base: Nolan Arenado – Colorado Rockies
- Shortstop: Javier Baez – Chicago Cubs
- Outfield: Christian Yelich – Milwaukee Brewers, Cody Bellinger – Los Angeles Dodgers, Ronald Acuña Jr. – Atlanta Braves
The National League’s pitchers include Clayton Kershaw, Luis Castillo, Sandy Alcantra, Hyun-Jin Ryu, and Walker Buehler, among others. Zack Greinke and Josh Hader were voted in but have had to be replaced. Don’t worry, there are still plenty of other options in this elite bullpen!
This is Kershaw’s eighth time as an All Star, tied with Verlander and Trout for the most of this year’s players. As for the National League team as a whole, it’s the youngest ever All Star team the MLB has seen, at an average age of 25.75 years old. The Dodgers, Rockies, and Brewers each have four All Stars on the roster, the most of any NL team.
Despite being held to three or fewer runs in five of the past six All Star games, the NL team looks stronger this year. Manager Dave Roberts will not only have his pick of pitchers. With batters like Christian Yelich (who leads the league in homers with 30), Bellinger, and Pete Alonso in the reserves, it’s possible that the National League can stand up to the flame-throwing AL guys and turn things around for the W this year! Don’t count them out!
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