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.
Date: Tuesday, July 17
Time: 8 p.m. ET (Coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. ET)
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
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
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*
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
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
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.
.@RossStripling is named to NL All-Star team to replace Miles Mikolas (pitching Sunday). https://t.co/SLCHzpqxWh
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.
New York Yankees @Yankees
Following today’s game, the Yankees placed INF Gleyber Torres on the 10-day DL with right hip strain, effective July 5.
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