Well, it’s gonna be tough to beat the show put on during the Home Run Derby on Monday night. I mean, how do you compete with hundreds of moonshots and the epic win by Mets rookie Pete Alonso over 20-year-old phenom and baseball royalty, Vlad Guerrero Jr.?
Not only that, but how do Cubs fans reconcile themselves to root for National League leadoff man Christian Yelich, who is arguably the second-best baseball player in the world right now. Yeah, I see you, Mike Trout — you’re still the man.
Hyun-Jin Ryu from the Dodgers will start for the National League and face off against Justin Verlander from the Astros. They will be tasked with stopping the onslaught of offense at Progressive Field in Cleveland, OH.
On paper, the NL has a huge offensive advantage in the starting lineup (see below), with every single batter having posted at least 20 home runs and 52 RBI so far during this 2019 campaign. They also don’t have a hitter hitting under .286 for the season, with six of their starters boasting .300+ averages. So almost all their guys are going to have an old school stat line of .300/40/100 if they keep this up the rest of the year.
For the record, Willson Contreras is the weak link on paper for the NL, but that’s only because he doesn’t play as much as the other guys due to his role
The AL lineup is no slouch, of course, as it also boasts six hitters who are hitting at least .300 at the break, not to mention six guys with at least 18 home runs. Everybody has knocked in at least 42 RBI so far and there’s plenty of talent, it’s just not the juggernaut that the NL appears to be going into the game.
With all the talk of juiced balls and offense heading in this game, don’t be surprised if it’s a 3-2 affair dominated by pitching. Because baseball. The pitchers won’t want to be upstaged or embarrassed, so you can expect the merry-go-round of arms to come in hot on the radar gun and give everything they have for an inning.
While Ryu is starting on the bump for the NL, expect to see Mike Soroka, Jacob deGrom, Walker Buehler, Luis Castillo, Sandy Alcantara, Will Smith, Kirby Yates, Felipe Vazquez, Sonny Gray, and Brandon Woodruff at some point, Backing up Justin Verlander will be Gerrit Cole, Lucas Giolito, John Means, Ryan Pressly, Shane Greene, Brad Hand, Aroldis Chapman, Jose Berrios, Shane Bieber, Liam Hendriks, and Masahiro Tanaka.
In backup roles for the Senior Circuit you’ll see Yasmani Grandal, J.T. Realmuto, Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil, Mike Moustakas, Paul DeJong, Trevor Story, Kris Bryant, David Dahl, Charlie Blackmon, and Max Muncy. On the bench for the AL are James McCann, Jose Abreu, Francisco Lindor, Matt Chapman, Mookie Betts, Austin Meadows, Joey Gallo, Whit Merrifield, Daniel Vogelbach, Gleyber Torres, and Xander Bogaerts.
Game Time and Broadcast Info
- Tuesday, July 9 at 6:30pm CT on FOX
|CF||Ronald Acuña Jr.||.292||.377||.506||.882||21||53||3.2|
|7/9||Hyun-Jin Ryu (NL)||32||L||1.73||10-2||2.88||9.90|
|Justin Verlander (AL)||36||R||2.98||10-4||4.19||5.67|
What to Watch For
- What will El Mago do to ignite the crowd on the biggest stage among all the best and brightest stars in MLB? Stay tuned and keep your popcorn ready, because you know he’s got something for the fans at home.
- Speaking of Cubs, what will Contreras do to back up his claim as the best catcher in baseball? How many back picks does he have in him tonight?
- Bryant will be featured in this showcase as well, albeit off the bench. Who can forget his bomb off of Chris Sale in San Diego during the 2016 Midsummer Classic? Will he do it again?
- The American League has won the last six All-Star Games and have taken 18 of 21 (not counting the abominable tie in 2002) dating back to 1997. Will the National League flip the script tonight?
- How many home runs will be in hit after last night’s late firework display? Just how juiced is the ball?