The American League and National League meet Tuesday night at Petco Park for the 87th annual All-Star Game. The Midsummer Classic is being played in San Diego a third time, with the city also hosting in 1978 and 1992.
After deciding the All-Star Game would determine which league will have home-field advantage in the World Series, the AL has won 10 of 13, including their current three-year winning streak. What’s more, the AL has won 15 of the last 19 contests.
Although Petco Park is home of the Padres, the NL club is considered the visiting team. That’s because last year the All-Star Game was played at Great American Ball Park (Cincinnati), and next year it will be played at Citizens Bank Park (Philadelphia), followed by SunTrust Park (Atlanta) in 2018.
Essentially surviving a war of attrition, San Francisco Giants right-hander Johnny Cueto was selected by New York Mets manager Terry Collins as the starting pitcher for the NL. Cueto has certainly put together a strong season thus far, going 13-1 with four complete games, a 2.47 ERA and 0.99 WHIP.
However, Collins said Clayton Kershaw would have been named the starter if a back injury had not forced him to miss the All-Star Game. Cueto is opposed by Chicago White Sox ace Chris Sale.
The lefty is an All-Star for a fifth consecutive year but this marks his first start. No longer squarely focused on compiling strikeouts, Sale is 14-3 with a 3.38 ERA and 1.04 WHIP this season.
While Kershaw won’t participate, the Dodgers are represented by Kenley Jansen and Corey Seager, both of whom were elected an All-Star for the first time in their respective careers. Jansen has faced 12 position players on the active AL roster, with the bunch combining to go 3-for-40 with 21 strikeouts.
Mike Trout (2015) and Mark Trumbo (2014) each have one home run off the Dodgers’ closer. Trout is in position to make All-Star Game history by becoming the first player to win the game’s MVP Award three consecutive years.
Of the AL pitchers who will participate in the game, Seager has only faced Baltimore Orioles reliever Brad Bach — striking out and drawing a walk in two plate appearances that came last week.
National League lineup:
2B: Ben Zobrist, Cubs
RF: Bryce Harper, Nationals
3B: Kris Bryant, Cubs
DH: Will Myers, Padres
C: Buster Posey, Giants
1B: Anthony Rizzo, Cubs
CF: Marcell Ozuna, Marlins
LF: Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies
SS: Addison Russell, Cubs
American League lineup
2B: Jose Altuve, Astros
CF: Mike Trout, Angels
3B: Manny Machado, Orioles
DH: David Ortiz, Red Sox
SS: Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox
1B: Eric Hosmer, Royals
RF: Mookie Betts, Red Sox
C: Salvador Perez, Royals
LF: Jackie Bradley Jr., Red Sox