The 2019 Major League Baseball All-Star Game is set to take place on Tuesday from Progressive Field in Cleveland. This is one of the best exhibition games of the season, and the world’s best baseball players will be ready to show off their talents. The American League has won the last six editions of the Midsummer Classic, and the National League will be out to end their drought.
The National League is +120 to win the All-Star Game, while the American League is the favorite at +105. Let’s take a quick look at the rosters and some of the key players for each team in this event before making a pick.
American League Pitching Staff
Lucas Giolito and Justin Verlander highlight the American League pitching staff. Giolito enters the weekend with a record of 11-2, but likely won’t get the start in this game. Verlander of the Houston Astros is 10-3, and he has plenty of experience pitching in the All-Star Game. The strength of the American League team might be in their bullpen, which could play a huge role in this game. Aroldis Chapman of the Yankees and Brad Hand of the Cleveland Indians will likely each pitch an inning if the American League is able to secure a lead. All-Star Games are usually low-scoring affairs, and that is the type of game that the AL will try to force.
National League Pitching Staff
The National League pitching staff is full of dominant starting pitchers, and most of them come from the Los Angeles Dodgers. Hyun-Jin Ryu comes into the weekend with a record of 10-2 and sports a minuscule 1.72 earned run average. His teammate, Walker Buehler, is 8-1 with a 3.46 earned run average, and both of them would love a shot to get on the mound in this game. Brewers closer Josh Hader has one of the most electrifying arms in baseball and could close out a lead if the NL can score some runs.
American League Starters
The American League starting lineup will be filled with players from the Houston Astros and New York Yankees, but the biggest star is still Mike Trout. Trout has a history of putting up amazing performances on the biggest stage, and he will be difficult for the NL pitchers to deal with. Catcher Gary Sanchez leads the Yankees with 23 home runs this season and will be one of the biggest bats in the AL lineup. Alex Bregman of the Houston Astros will be a participant in the Home Run Derby on Monday night and has 23 homers this season as well. The American League lineup is stacked full of guys with power.
National League Starters
Christian Yelich of the Milwaukee Brewers and Cody Bellinger of the Los Angeles Dodgers are the two biggest and best names in the National League starting lineup. Yelich and Bellinger have combined for nearly 60 home runs already this season, and are having career years. Javier Baez of the Chicago Cubs has hit 22 bombs and is one of the most exciting players in baseball. The National League won’t take a backseat to the powerful lineup of the American League.
American League Reserves
Reserves always play a key role in the All-Star Game, and that should be the case again this year. Injuries will force a ton of American League All-Stars out of this game, but the league has replaced them with worthy players. White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu is having a monster season and should get plenty of time in this game. Gleyber Torres (Yankees) and Xander Bogaerts (Red Sox) are both late additions to this team, but give the American League a ton of talent up the middle in the later innings. The American League won’t lose a ton when they start making substitutions later in the game.
National League Reserves
Former National League MVP Kris Bryant is one of the biggest names available on the National League bench. Bryant is nearing 20 home runs and 50 runs batted in this season and has performed well in this game in the past. Pete Alonso of the New York Mets already holds the team rookie record for home runs and is one of the top young talents in the game. The National League has a loaded starting lineup, but there is plenty of thunder on the bench.
Even though the American League has dominated the All-Star Game in recent seasons, we are picking the National League this year. It’s just too hard to ignore how dominant the pitchers from the NL have been, and they also have an elite closer in their bullpen. The National League should put up just enough runs to come away with a win and snap their five-game losing streak. Bet the National League +120 over the American League in the 2019 MLB All-Star Game.