The All-Star game, something every baseball fan looks forward to, is finally here. The NL holds an All-Time advantage with a 43-42 record against the AL, but has struggled in the last couple decades. The American League has won the last four ASGs, and 16 of the last 19, including a 12-game win streak from 1997-2009.
The Starting Pitcher’s for this year’s contest will be two of the top three arms in baseball, Max Scherzer (NL) and Chris Sale (AL). Clayton Kershaw, who is generally recognized as the best starter in baseball, will not be on the mound following a start this past Sunday.
The starting lineups and rosters for both teams can be found here.
When comparing the rosters, it seems as though the NL has a better starting lineup, bench, and pitching staff. While they have more than enough star power to win, talent doesn’t always decide the All-Star Game. Both teams are loaded, and in what’s effectively a one game playoff, anything can happen.
That’s why we’ve seen pitchers at the top of their game like Clayton Kershaw, Justin Verlander, and Roger Clemens taking the loss, and players like Melky Cabrera, Carl Crawford, and J.D. Drew taking home the MVP.
Look for relievers to dominate the ASG, too, as starters aren’t used to coming out of the bullpen. It wouldn’t surprise me if the losing pitcher is a starter who comes out of the bullpen.
To win, teams are going to have to score early. When fireballers start coming in toward the end of the game, runs are going to be hard to come by. Last year, there wasn’t a single run scored after the 4th inning. Also, no more than nine runs has been scored in an ASG since 2005.
The unpredictability of this game lies in trying to figure out which starter is most likely to struggle in a shortened outing, and that’s something no one is capable of doing. So rather than trying to and convince you of why the NL will win, I hope to convince you to watch the game — especially the first few innings.
The brightest stars in baseball are on display tonight, and it’s a great chance for everyone to see them, including the casual fans.
My dad and I have been discussing lately how the MLB lacks “legacy” stars in today’s game. The likes of A-Rod, Jeter, Bonds, Griffey Jr, etc. are gone, and now most of the leagues headliners are in their early 20s. While it leaves the game lacking a bit of nostalgia, I encourage fans to be incredibly excited about this new wave of youngsters taking the league by storm.
The amount of young talent in this game is exceptional. From Trout (who unfortunately won’t be playing due to injury) and Harper, to Judge and Seager, Major League Baseball is flooded with talented young players. Tonight is a fantastic night to see these guys in action. Get to know their names, because they’ll be around for a while.
Maybe 15 years from now, the ASG will be flooded with “legacy” stars.