The MLB All-Star game is already upon us as we’re now halfway through the 2016 regular season. This year’s extravaganza will be held at Petco Park which plays home to the National Leagues San Diego Padres. The All-Star game holds more significance than you would think, with the winning league gaining home field advantage through the World Series. This rule was introduced back in 2003, previously it would just alternate between the AL and the NL. Last year’s game was won by the American League 6-3 however the NL has won the most All Star games overall with a 43-41-2 record. As always both lineups are stacked with talent as you would expect, even with a number of players pulling out for various reasons.
The American League starters will have 4 Red Sox players in the lineup with veteran David Ortiz making his 10th appearance while Bogaerts, Bradley Jr and Betts all make their first appearances. There is a great mix of veterans and young stars in the AL reserves with Miguel Cabrera making his 11th All Star side along with Carlos Beltran in his 9th event. There is eight first time pitchers making the trip to San Diego and the talent in the pitching lineup is full of quality. Guys like Chris Sale, Cole Hamels and Danny Salazar making his first appearance makes for tough hitting.
For the National League, they will have four Cubs starters including nearly the entire infield with 1B, 2B, 3B and SS all occupied by Cubs players. That’s reward for their outstanding season so far, albeit with a poor closing few weeks leading in to the All Star game. Add to the Cubs infield guys like Bryce Harper, Daniel Murphy, Paul Goldschmidt and Starling Marte there is some real genuine power. The pitching for the NL is ridiculous, names like Jake Arietta, Johnny Cueto, Jose Fernandez and closer Jeurys Familia are all great pitchers in their own right. Unfortunately we won’t get to see Clayton Kershaw who is out with injury.
There is plenty of stats we can dive in to across both the hitters and the pitchers but none of it really matters in an All Star game. This event is just simply great entertainment and even if you’re a casual baseball fan, you should watch the game just to see the amount of talent on display. Enjoy it with a beer and a loaded hot dog, the Wolf will be!