2019 Major League Baseball

Major League Baseball All-Star : Game returns to Cleveland for the sixth time and for the first since 1997. The American League has dominated the Midsummer Classic in recent years, winning the last six contests and 18 out of the last 22 since 1997.

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Team: 2019 Major League Baseball
Competition:Major League Baseball All-Star Game
Date : Tuesday, July 9,2019
Time : 7:30 p.m. ET
Where: Progressive Field; Cleveland
Streaming: fuboTV (try for free)
Highlights: CBS Sports HQ

And for the first time, if the game goes to extra innings, the inning will begin with a runner on second base each time.

Justin Verlander of the Houston Astros and Hyun-jin Ryu of the Los Angeles Dodgers were named the starters for the American and National League, respectively. The rosters are infused with young talent and first-timers. In fact, the NL’s starting lineup is the youngest in All-Star Game history, led by 21-year-old Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr.

Verlander, who is making his second career All-Star Game start, joked that he “halfway blames” former teammate Prince Fielder for his struggles in 2012. Then with the Tigers, Fielder urged him to hit 100 mph on the radar gun, only to his chagrin.

“I don’t quite throw 100 anymore. Maybe I’ll try (Tuesday), I don’t know,” Verlander said with a smile. “But the goal is to get guys out. That’s it.”
Progressive Field during pregame introductions.

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu during a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies Saturday, June 22, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

We’ve known the starters for the 2019 Major League Baseball All-Star Game for a few weeks, but we don’t yet know how the managers will deploy each of their nine players for Tuesday’s contest.

Managers Alex Cora (American League) and Dave Roberts (National League) can’t go wrong with any lineup. Will anyone quibble with George Springer, Mike Trout and Alex Bregman hitting in the first inning? Who could deny Ronald Acuna Jr., Christian Yelich and Cody Bellinger in the top three spots for the NL?

Looking over the starting nine for both sides, here is how each league should start the July 9 contest from Progressive Field in Cleveland.

American League

1. George Springer RF, Houston Astros

2. Mike Trout, CF, Los Angeles Angels

3. Carlos Santana, 1B, Cleveland Indians

4. Alex Bregman, 3B, Houston Astros

5. Gary Sanchez, C, New York Yankees

6. Michael Brantley, LF, Houston Astros

7. J.D. Martinez, DH, Boston Red Sox

8. Jorge Polanco, SS, Minnesota Twins

9. DJ LeMahieu, 2B, New York Yankees

SP: Gerrit Cole, Houston Astros

The only potentially controversial choice from this group is having Carlos Santana hitting in the No. 3 spot. There are practical reasons for that decision if Cora chooses to go that way.

First, and most obvious, Santana is the only Indians player in the starting lineup. The All-Star Game is in his home ballpark, so putting him in a position to get at least two at-bats before being replaced and give the crowd a little extra excitement seems like a good idea.

Santana has also been fantastic for Cleveland in 2019. The 33-year-old, who is making his first All-Star appearance, is slugging a career-high .548 and Trout (.453) is the only AL hitter with a higher on-base percentage than Santana’s .418 mark.

The most interesting debate for Cora will be at starting pitcher. Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Charlie Morton leads the AL with a 2.36 ERA and ranks second with 3.2 FanGraphs wins above replacement.

Unfortunately, Morton won’t be available because he pitched on Sunday against the New York Yankees.

Chicago White Sox breakout star Lucas Giolito and Houston Astros right-hander Gerrit Cole are both available after making their final starts of the first half on Saturday. Cole leads the AL with 13.1 strikeouts per nine innings and 170 total strikeouts.

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