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All-Star Game 90: National League at American League

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Baseball’s Midsummer Classic is upon us.

Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images

First Pitch: 6:30p Central (probably way later than that lol)
TV: FOX (with Joe Buck..........), FOX International (whatever the heck that is)
Radio: ESPN Radio (English), ESPN Deportes (Spanish)
Know Thine Enemy: The National League doesn’t have a specific SBN site, duh.

Well, we’ve made it. Halfway through the baseball season. It’s been a fun ride so far, hasn’t it? Now we get to see the (supposed) best players from each league go head-to-head at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio. Just to start it off, here’s a favorite memory of mine of a Minnesota Twins player in the All-Star Game:

In case you missed it, the Twins have three players that were selected for the All-Star Game this year. (Yes, only three.) Jorge Polanco was nominated by baseball fans to start at shortstop for the American League this year, his first of hopefully many trips to the Midsummer Classic. He’s definitely deserving, batting .312/.368/.514 (.882) with 13 homers and 42 RBI. His offensive bWAR (3.5) is best for seventh in all of MLB and he’s tied for ninth-best in batting average between both leagues.

Jake Odorizzi was selected as a pitcher for the American League, also his first year as an All-Star. Odo has posted a 3.15 ERA over 17 starts and 88.2 innings of work this year. To complement that, his ERA+ is 144, and he has been striking out batters at a clip of 9.7 K/9. However, a blister has landed him on the Injured List as of last week, and so he will not be pitching tonight, but will be at the game.

After Odorizzi’s move to the IL, MLB nominated Jose Berrios to the American League roster to take his place. One of the many snubs the Twins had in terms of not being nominated, La MaKina will make his trip to the All-Star Game for the second year in a row. He has a 3.00 ERA (151 ERA+) across 18 starts and 117 innings of work so far this season. His K/9 rate is down from last year, but is still a respectable 8.0.

The manager for the National League in this year’s contest will be Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, and he’s chosen his own pitcher to start on the mound for the NL. Lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu is making his first appearance in an All-Star Game. Now before you complain about a manager choosing his own pitcher to start, Ryu leads the league in ERA (1.73), ERA+ (241), BB/9 (0.8), and K/BB (9.90). He also leads the NL with 10 wins. I’d say that’s a good choice for Roberts and his team.

Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora has called upon Houston AstrosJustin Verlander to toe the rubber for the American League team. This will be his second time of his career to start on the hill for an All-Star team; this is his eight trip to the game. Although he currently leads the league to allow the most homers (26), he does lead the league with the best WHIP of 0.813. Otherwise, he has a 2.98 ERA in 19 starts and 126.2 innings of work with a 10.9 K/9.

Check out each team’s full roster here.

Some quick fun facts:

  • The American League is looking to hold off the National League to avoid an even record. Currently, they are 44-43-2 in the All-Star Game.
  • Each team has a 32-man roster: nine in the starting lineup, one starting pitcher, 11 bench players, and 11 bullpen arms.
  • 75 players were officially named All-Stars this year, 36 for the first time in their careers.
  • If the game goes to extra innings, each inning will start with a runner on second base.

Lineups (courtesy of MLB’s All-Star Game Twitter account @AllStarGame):

GO TWINS GO!

Poll

Which team are you rooting for?

This poll is closed

  • 55%
    American League
    (34 votes)
  • 4%
    National League
    (3 votes)
  • 3%
    Neither
    (2 votes)
  • 36%
    TWIM’S
    (22 votes)
61 votes total Vote Now