It’s time for the mid-summer classic, the Major League Baseball All-Star Game hosted by the Washington Nationals at beautiful Nationals Park in the Nation’s Capital. The Home Run Derby is tonight and tomorrow the game itself will take place that features a re-match of last year’s starters with Chris Sale once again toeing the rubber for the American League and Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer pitching in his home ballpark.
Here is how the A.L. lineup stacks out for American League skipper and World Series Champion Manager for the Houston Astros, A.J. Hinch:
RF Mookie Betts: .359 AVG, 23 HR, 51 RBI (Boston Red Sox)
2B Jose Alutve: .332 AVG, 9 HR, 44 RBI (Houston Astros)
CF Mike Trout: .310, 25 HR, 50 RBI (Los Angeles Angels)
DH J.D. Martinez: .328 AVG, 29 HR, 80 RBI (Boston Red Sox)
3B Jose Ramirez: .302 AVG, 29 HR, 70 RBI (Cleveland Indians)
LF Aaron Judge: .276 AVG, 25 HR, 60 RBI (New York Yankees)
SS Manny Machado: .315 AVG, 24 HR, 65 RBI (Baltimore Orioles)
1B Jose Abreu: .253 AVG, 13 HR, 52 RBI (Chicago White Sox)
C Salvador Perez: .221 AVG, 13 HR, 41 RBI (Kansas City Royals)
LHP Chris Sale: 10-4, 2.23 ERA, 188 K’s (Red Sox)
Sale joins Lefty Gomez (AL, 1933-35) and Robin Roberts (National League, 1953-55) as the only pitchers to make three consecutive starts in the All-Star Game for their respective league.
And here is what is opposite the N.L. for Dave Roberts and the National League:
2B Javier Baez: .292 AVG, 19 HR, 72 RBI (Chicago Cubs)
3B Nolan Arenado: .312 AVG, 23 HR, 68 RBI (Colorado Rockies)
DH Paul Goldschmidt: .281 AVG, 21 HR, 52 RBI (Arizona Diamondbacks)
1B Freddie Freeman: .315 AVG, 16 HR, 61 RBI (Atlanta Braves)
LF Matt Kemp: .310 AVG, 15 HR, 60 RBI (Los Angeles Dodgers)
CF Bryce Harper: .214 AVG, 23 HR, 54 RBI (Washington Nationals)
RF Nick Markakis: .323 AVG, 10 HR, 61 RBI (Atlanta Braves)
SS Brandon Crawford: .292 AVG, 10 HR, 39 RBI (San Francisco Giants)
C Wilson Contreras: .279 AVG, 7 HR, 34 RBI (Chicago Cubs)
RHP Max Scherzer: 12-5, 2.41 ERA, 182 K’s (Washington Nationals)
Coverage of the game begins at 7:30 PM ET on FOX tomorrow night. Taking a look at both lineups and just how deep the American League is, I have a hard time picking against a team anchored by two-time All-Star Game MVP Mike Trout with two of the hottest hitters in the game in Mookie and J.D. surrounding him in the lineup. American League is my pick to click and take the ballgame in the home of the N.L.’s Nats. Plus they have the better overall pitching staff, I might offer with Bpston’s Craig Kimbrel locking it down on the back-end.
Of course with the All-Star Break and the mid-summer classic upon us, so is the T-Mobile Home Run Derby that kicks off at 8 PM over on ESPN. Hometown hero Bryce Harper headlines the field of young talent and will square off with another excellent hitter in Freddie Freeman in round one. Everyone will ride with Harper in his home park looking to make another big splash before cashing in this winter, or they will roll with the hot-hand of Dodgers Max Muncy who has crushed seemingly everything since breaking though with LA this season.
I, however, will be picking Astros third baseman Alex Bregman to win the crown when all is said and done. He will have to go through Kyle Schwarber first then likely one-seed Jesus Aguilar to reach the final, but the brash right-handed hitting slugger will be my sleeper pick to win the derby.
Engage with me throughout the Derby or the All-Star Game on Twitter: @FrankBostonTank