Andrew Harnik/Associated Press

The intrigue for the 2018 Major League Baseball All-Star Game grows by the day. 

The stars of baseball converge on Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., July 17 for the sport’s top exhibition, which is set to feature some of the biggest names in the sport. 

The American League comes into the 2018 edition of the star-studded showdown on a five-game winning streak after a 10-inning triumph a year ago in Miami.

Dating back to 1997, the National League’s All-Star record is 3-16-1, with the three victories coming from 2010-2012. 

With the game in a National League park for the fourth consecutive season, the senior circuit will try to switch the balance of power in the All-Star Game, but it won’t be an easy task. 

       

TV Schedule

Date: Tuesday, July 17

Time: 8 p.m. ET (Coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. ET) 

TV: Fox

    

Rosters

American League 

Starters

Wilson Ramos. C, Tampa Bay

Jose Abreu, 1B. Chicago White Sox

Jose Altuve. 2B, Houston

Jose Ramirez, 3B, Cleveland

Manny Machado, SS, Baltimore

Mike Trout, OF, Los Angeles Angels

Aaron Judge, OF, New York Yankees

Mookie Betts, OF, Boston

J.D. Martinez, OF, Boston

   

Reserves 

Salvador Perez, C, Kansas City 

Mitch Moreland, 1B, Boston 

Jed Lowrie, 2B, Oakland

Gleyber Torres, 2B, New York Yankees*

Alex Bregman, 3B, Houston 

Francisco Lindor, SS, Cleveland

Jean Segura, SS, Seattle 

Michael Brantley, OF, Cleveland

Shin-Soo Choo, OF, Texas

Mitch Haniger, OF, Seattle

George Springer, OF, Houston

Nelson Cruz, DH, Seattle

   

Pitchers

Trevor Bauer, Cleveland

Jose Berrios, Minnesota

Aroldis Chapman, New York Yankees

Gerrit Cole, Houston 

Edwin Diaz, Seattle

J.A. Happ, Toronto 

Joe Jimenez, Detroit

Craig Kimbrel, Boston 

Corey Kluber, Cleveland

Chris Sale, Boston 

Luis Severino, New York Yankees

Blake Treinen, Oakland

Justin Verlander, Detroit*

    

National League 

Starters

Willson Contreras, C, Chicago Cubs

Freddie Freeman, 1B, Atlanta

Javier Baez, 2B, Chicago Cubs

Nolan Arenado, 3B, Colorado

Brandon Crawford, SS, San Francisco 

Nick Markakis, OF, Atlanta

Matt Kemp, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers

Bryce Harper, OF, Washington 

    

Reserves

Yadier Molina, C, St. Louis

Buster Posey, C, San Francisco*

J.T. Realmuto, C, Miami 

Jesus Aguilar, 1B, Milwaukee

Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, Arizona

Joey Votto, 1B, Cincinnati

Ozzie Albies, 2B, Atlanta

Scooter Gennett, 2B, Cincinnati 

Eugenio Suarez, 3B, Cincinnati 

Trevor Story, SS, Colorado

Charlie Blackmon, OF, Colorado

Lorenzo Cain, OF, Milwaukee

Christian Yelich, OF, Milwaukee

   

Pitchers

Patrick Corbin, Arizona

Jacob deGrom, New York Mets

Sean Doolittle, Washington*

Mike Foltynewicz, Atlanta

Josh Hader, Milwaukee

Brad Hand, San Diego

Kenley Jansen, Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon Lester, Chicago Cubs

Miles Mikolas, St. Louis*

Aaron Nola, Philadelphia

Max Scherzer, Washington 

Ross Stripling, Los Angeles Dodgers

Felipe Vazquez, Pittsburgh 

*-denotes player won’t be participating in All-Star Game.

      

Number of Roster Replacements Continues To Grow 

The All-Star Game rosters change every season due to a plethora of reasons. 

Injuries and rest are the main culprits, and with six days left until the exhibition at Nationals Park, a handful of players have already dropped out. 

On the pitching side, Justin Verlander and Miles Mikolas will be starting Sunday for their respective teams, which puts them out of contention to pitch Tuesday due to short rest. 

Trevor Bauer replaced Verlander on the AL roster Sunday, while Ross Stripling took Mikolas’ spot in a move that was made official Wednesday. 

Sean Doolittle was placed on the 10-day disabled list by the Nationals Monday, per Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, which means he won’t pitch in front of his home fans, but his replacement hasn’t been determined yet. 

Two position players have been named as replacements since Sunday’s roster unveiling, as Yadier Molina took over for Buster Posey as a reserve catcher on the NL roster and Jed Lowrie replaced Gleyber Torres as an AL reserve.

Posey isn’t on the disabled list, but he chose to use the All-Star break to rest a sore hip, per John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle, while a hip injury is also costing Torres his place in the All-Star Game, but he is on the disabled list. 

As the All-Star Game inches closer, there should be a few more replacements named, as veterans choose to rest due to nagging injuries and pitchers count themselves out because of their regular rotations and rest. 

        

Potential Starting Pitchers Beginning To Come Into Play 

The All-Star starting pitchers taking the hill Thursday would be on normal rest if they start the All-Star Game, which makes them the best candidates to begin Tuesday’s showcase on the mound. 

Among the collection of All-Stars pitching Thursday are Max Scherzer, Stripling, J.A. Happ, Luis Severino and Corey Kluber, with the latter two facing each other in Cleveland. 

Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

With no All-Star pitchers slated to start Friday, the only other hurlers on regular rest entering Tuesday would be Chris Sale, Mike Foltynewicz and Jacob deGrom, all of whom started Wednesday. 

The starting nod in the NL seems to be a no-brainer, as Scherzer is more than deserving of earning the honor in his home stadium.

Scherzer has an opportunity to tie Aaron Nola and Jon Lester for the NL lead in wins Thursday, and even if he doesn’t come out with a victory, his 11-5 record, 2.33 ERA and 0.89 WHIP are convincing enough to earn him Tuesday’s start.

Alex Brandon/Associated Press

The AL starting pitcher could come down to Thursday’s showdown in Cleveland, as Severino and Kluber are two of the best starters on the junior circuit.

Severino appears to have the upper hand at the moment, as he boasts a 14-2 record, 2.12 ERA and 143 strikeouts. 

Kluber’s numbers aren’t bad either, as he sits at 12-4 with a 0.88 WHIP and 2.49 ERA in 19 starts. 

Since he leads baseball in wins, Severino would be the wise choice for AL manager A.J. Hinch, and if he goes in that direction, he has a nice 1-2 punch with Severino and Kluber to start off the All-Star Game with. 

      

Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90

Statistics obtained from MLB.com



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