Tag: MLB All Star Game

MLB All-Star Game 2016: Score, Highlights and Comments from MVP

It was all about the Kansas City Royals and the American League at Tuesday’s 2016 MLB All-Star Game at Petco Park in San Diego.

A year ago, Mike Trout took home MVP honors, but it was the Royals who took advantage of the home-field advantage to triumph in the World Series.

This year, Kansas City’s Eric Hosmer took home the MVP award in the 4-2 win, putting his Royals in an advantageous position to defend the title while giving the American League a dominant fourth win in a row.

He was quick to talk about what the victory meant for his team too.

“Hopefully this is something we can all rally upon for the second half and find a way to use that home-field advantage,” Hosmer said, according to the Associated Press’ Ronald Blum.

At first, Hosmer took things into his own hands. When Kris Bryant of the Chicago Cubs smashed a solo shot in the top of the first inning to put the National League out front, Hosmer was quick to respond in the bottom of the frame, tying things up with his own homer.

Interestingly enough, he did it off former teammate Johnny Cueto, which led to a noteworthy stat from ESPN Stats & Info:

Hosmer got something in the way of reinforcements right away, as Kansas City catcher Salvador Perez belted a two-run dinger to put the American League ahead for good.

It was just Kansas City’s night. To understand just how special the event was for the Royals, ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark provided a staggering bit of research:

Never once, in the six seasons and 575 games they had started together as big league teammates, had Hosmer and Perez homered in the same inning of any game — regular season or postseason. So of course they both went deep in the very first inning in which they both batted in an All-Star Game.

Now, this far it sounds like Hosmer and Perez could have had an interesting debate for individual honors. Hosmer, though, took the role of insurance man in the third inning and drove in Toronto’s Edwin Encarnacion, finishing 2-for-3 at the plate with a pair of RBI.

Other notable events unfolded during the game, even though the American League built a lead it wouldn’t relinquish by the third frame.

Perhaps most notable was David Ortiz’s farewell. The Boston Red Sox legend didn’t hit a homer like he would have wanted, but the goodbyes still made for an epic time. Both MLB and Fox Sports captured the special moments:

What else was memorable in the Kansas City show? Bryant’s homer was special, and Miami Marlins outfielder Marcell Ozuna drove in a run to at least try to keep the game competitive. Trout carved out a bit of history, becoming the first American League player to record a hit in each of his first five All-Star Games, according to CBSSports.com‘s R.J. Anderson, Matt Snyder, Dayn Perry and Mike Axisa.

Perhaps most important of all, the game showed that the future of the sport looks great. Ortiz made this clear in an interview after the game, as captured by FoxSports.com’s Dieter Kurtenbach:

I get really impressed with the talent MLB has right now. It’s not like it used to be. When I first got to the big leagues, the face of baseball was a guy my age, maybe a little bit younger. Now, the face is baseball is 21, 22, 23 years old. That tells me that this game is in unbelievable hands — great future. It made me happy.

Kansas City, love it or hate it, exemplified this Tuesday. 

Most expected the American League to boast a strong pitching staff. Royals skipper Ned Yost went into the game with an oddly constructed roster, boasting more relievers than starters. Five relief pitchers wound up not allowing a run, including Kansas City’s Kelvin Herrera.

Still, the spotlight goes to Hosmer, who posted a heartfelt message to Instagram after the game:

It’s not too far off to call Tuesday’s epic event a passing-of-the-torch moment, with Ortiz giving the nod to a younger generation featuring Trout, Hosmer and so much more.

While Kansas City gears up to put an injury-riddled first half behind it, fans of every team can rest assured the MLB is in great hands.


All stats and info via ESPN.com unless otherwise specified.

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David Ortiz’s All-Star Farewell Is Passing of Baton to New Elite MLB Generation

SAN DIEGO — On the plane ride to California, where so many over the years have found only fool’s gold, David Ortiz gathered his young Boston Red Sox All-Star teammates and delivered an All-Star message.

He looked at Jackie Bradley Jr. Looked at Mookie Betts. Looked at Xander Bogaerts and Steven Wright. It was a JetBlue charter flight from Boston, and they were eating burgers, but it was Big Papi’s message they devoured.

“He told us a lot of guys only make it to the All-Star Game once,” Wright said. “He wanted to make sure we enjoyed every moment. Soak it in. Learn as much as you can.”

The snapshot moment from the 87th All-Star Game was easy on a brilliant Tuesday evening here in Petco Park. Though Kansas City’s Eric Hosmer belted a home run and drove in two and wound up as the Most Valuable Player in a 4-2 American League victory, the snapshot moment came when Ortiz took ball four in the third inning.

He ambled down to first base, two decades’ worth of major league wear and tear evident in his legs, and was met there by pinch runner Edwin Encarnacion.

“Go get ’em,” Ortiz told him. “Have fun.”

“I’m never going to forget that moment,” Encarnacion said. “It was so special.”

With that, Ortiz U-turned toward the first base dugout, where he saw the entire AL team had flooded onto the field for an emotional reception. One by one, they slapped his hand and patted him on the shoulder as the sun set on another closing chapter in Ortiz’s story.

But in a rarity on the big stage, under the brightest of lights, the most important stuff was what we didn’t see.

It was Ortiz’s private message to his Red Sox comrades at 30,000 feet Sunday.

And it was his private message to his AL teammates Tuesday that resonated the most.

“It was really special,” Orioles outfielder Mark Trumbo said. “It was how much he enjoys making an impact on the younger players.

“How everyone in the room has the ability to do something special for someone else. When you see someone with ability, take time to help them out.”

Pay it forward. What a concept. In baseball and in life, if everyone took these words to heart, how much better could this world be? Everyone has the ability to do something special for someone else. How great would it be if that really happened?

These words resonate loudly today, both outside the game in our increasingly troubled world and inside the game as a new generation of young, talented players charge forward.

In catcher Salvador Perez, first baseman Hosmer, second baseman Jose Altuve, shortstop Bogaerts and third baseman Manny Machado, the AL produced the first starting infield and catcher in All-Star history in which all players were 26 or younger.

There were 34 first-time All-Stars in San Diego. There were a record 30 All-Stars born outside of the United States.

The hardball times…they are a-changing.

Here Ortiz was Monday, talking about how much he misses Derek Jeter and Ichiro Suzuki at these Midsummer Classics. Jeter, of course, retired two years ago. Ichiro is gamely chasing his 3,000th hit (he’s 10 away) at 42 but wasn’t an All-Star this year.

He spoke passionately about how they represented the game so well. They did things the right way. And their absence is noticed.

What Ortiz did not mention was that next summer at Marlins Park in Miami, and the year after that at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., and in years beyond, it is going to be Bradley and Betts and Mike Trout who miss him. It will be Machado, Altuve, Hosmer and others whose responsibility it is to pitch in and carry this game’s torch into the future.

“I worry about this game a lot,” Ortiz said during a conversation before Tuesday night’s game. “This game has a great future. If I can do something or say something to make you better, that’s what I want to do. That’s just me.

“When a player gives you advice, the players take it more serious. If I’m giving advice to a kid from the Dominican Republic, I want him to do well. I want to be able to enjoy his career and watch what he’s doing for a long time.”

At a time when baseball works hard to engage a young audience, it also remains very attentive to staying connected with its history. Maybe even more than Ortiz’s exit from the game, simply because of its San Diego setting, the most emotional moment of the evening came during pregame ceremonies. Commissioner Rob Manfred enlisted the legendary broadcaster Dick Enberg to announce from the field that the sport is naming its annual batting championships after Hall of Famers Rod Carew (AL) and the late Tony Gwynn (NL).

It was a thrilling moment, the kind of goosebump-inducing theater that baseball can produce so well. The Petco Park crowd of 42,386 broke into a deafening chant of “Tony! Tony! Tony!” as Gwynn’s widow, Alicia, fought back tears on the field with son Tony Jr. and daugher Anisha at her side.

Gwynn, Carew, Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Ortiz…the game pays its respects and rolls on.

“You’re always going to compare them,” said Seattle’s Robinson Cano—a teammate of Jeter and Rivera in New York and a witness to Ortiz’s impassioned speech Tuesday. “They’re great players. They’re great people. It’s sad to see them leave.

“That’s something everyone, including myself, we’re always going to appreciate playing with them.”

Marlins flamethrower Jose Fernandez, just 23, told ESPN’s Marly Rivera on Monday that he dreamed of facing Ortiz and that he would throw him three fastballs down the middle.

“I want to watch him hit a home run,” Fernandez said. … “Ninety miles per hour, so there is no chance that he fouls them or misses them.”

So would this be shades of Adam Wainwright? Two years ago in Minnesota, the Cardinals starter served up an opposite-field double to Jeter in the Yankee legend’s final All-Star Game and then promptly told a national television audience that he grooved the pitch to Jeter.

After Ortiz bounced to first in the first inning, sure enough, there was Fernandez on the mound when Big Papi stepped to the plate in the third.

Three fastballs?

Fernandez opened up with an 80 mph changeup.

“We’re going to discuss that later,” Ortiz quipped.

Then he saw five straight fastballs, worked the count to full…and took ball four on another 80 mph change.

Ortiz comically wagged a finger at Fernandez as he made his way to first, toward his exit for a pinch runner.

Then, not long after tipping his cap to the fans, there he was in the interview room, talking about how much he’d love to see Fernandez in the Boston rotation. The Marlins sure will enjoy hearing those quotes.

Really, though, it ended exactly the way it should: Ortiz at 40 battling Fernandez, just a kid, the sun setting on the old man in Boston as it rises on the Cuban sensation in Miami.

The game steamrolls into the future, pausing for no one, no matter how large the legend.

“It was awesome,” Bogaerts said of Ortiz’s night. “That’s the type of player he is.”

“Because we’re around him every day, it doesn’t surprise me that he [addressed the AL before the game],” Wright said. “He’s a class act.”

“We have a lot of new guys to the All-Star team, and it’s good to hear that kind of message from David,” said Carlos Beltran, 39.

It was thrilling and captivating. It was emotional and nostalgic. There was a lump in your throat as you sat on the edge of your seat, waiting to see what was going to happen next.

It’s baseball, yesterday and today. And especially tomorrow.


Scott Miller covers Major League Baseball as a national columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow Scott on Twitter and talk baseball.

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MLB All-Star Game 2016: Live Score, Highlights and Reaction

The 87th edition of the MLB All-Star Game has concluded.

The American League won 4-2, with a pair of Kansas City Royals in Eric Hosmer (2-for-3, HR, 2 RBI) and Salvador Perez (1-for-2, HR, 2 RBI) leading the offensive charge.

Hosmer earned MVP honors for his efforts.

The National League got on the board first with a solo home run from Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant in the top of the first and also got an RBI double from Marcell Ozuna of the Miami Marlins in the fourth inning, but that was all it mustered offensively.

The Cleveland Indians’ Corey Kluber was the winning pitcher, while the San Francisco Giants’ Johnny Cueto took the loss and the Baltimore Orioles’ Zach Britton earned the save.

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MLB All-Star Game 2016: Start Time, Ticket Info, Rosters for Midsummer Classic

The rosters for the 2016 Midsummer Classic are set, and Tuesday night (8 p.m. ET) we’ll see the American League and National League vie for World Series home-field advantage at Petco Park.

Or, rather, we’ll see the Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox go head-to-head with a few friends they brought along. The Cubs are responsible for four NL starters, making up the entire infield.

Anthony Rizzo will man first base, Ben Zobrist’s at second, Kris Bryant’s at third and Addison Russell is at short. It’s the second time in history a team has pulled off this feat. Center fielder Dexter Fowler was originally scheduled to start but was replaced on the roster by Carlos Gonzalez. It nonetheless feels a lot like the Cubs just picked up some pals for a pickup game.

Those pals include MVP winners Bryce Harper and Buster Posey, but still. Harper will be joined by Marcell Ozuna and Gonzalez in the starting outfield. 

“Organizationally, it speaks to what’s been done here the last several years,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said, per ESPN.com. “I take zero credit for that. It’s great scouting and development on the part of the Cubs.”

Full rosters available at MLB.com.

Pitchers Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester were also selected to the roster, giving Chicago an MLB-high seven All-Stars.

“I’ve been through a lot,” Arrieta, the defending NL Cy Young winner and first-time All-Star, said. “A lot of hard work started to pay off and my career has started to move in a positive direction over the past couple years. It’s a byproduct of the hard work.”

The AL team is spearheaded by six Red Sox, including four in the starting lineup. Outfielders Jackie Bradley Jr. and Mookie Betts and shortstop Xander Bogaerts were selected for their first time, while David Ortiz earned an even 10th appearance in his final MLB season.

“There’s not going to be another time, so I’m just going to go out there, have fun and make sure I give the fans what they want who vote for David Ortiz and enjoy watching me,” Ortiz said, per Stephen Hewitt of the Boston Herald.

Reliever Craig Kimbrel and starter Steven Wright were also named to the team. Kimbrel will not play due to injury. 

The AL has by far the most experienced team. Between Miguel Cabrera (11), Ortiz (10), Carlos Beltran (nine) Robinson Cano (seven), Chris Sale (five) and Mike Trout (five) they have the six highest All-Star selection totals.

Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw was the only NL representative with more than four Midsummer Classics under his belt. However, Kershaw pulled out due to injury. No NL player actually on the roster has more than four appearances.

The NL does have perhaps the most notable story: Bartolo Colon’s surprise All-Star appearance. The 43-year-old, who is MLB’s oldest player, ranks among the most elderly to ever play in the Midsummer Classic. He would be the third-oldest pitcher ever if he gets a chance to play, behind only Mariano Rivera and Satchel Paige.

The NL will hope Colon and others end the AL’s three-game winning streak. The AL has walked away with 10 of the 13 All-Star Games since the fateful tie in 2002; 15 of the last 18 games with an actual finish have gone the AL’s way.

Last-minute tickets for the MLB All-Star Game can be found at ScoreBig.com.

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2016 MLB All-Star Game Roster: Starting Pitchers and Lineup for AL and NL Squads

MLB will display a talent renaissance during Tuesday night’s All-Star Game, which will be headlined by up-and-coming studs.

The Midsummer Classic starters aren’t much older than Sunday’s MLB Futures Game participants. In fact, 23-year-old Bryce Harper is younger than 10 of those minor league stars who were fighting to sit at the big kids’ table.

Outside of elder statesman David Ortiz, every American League starter is 27 or younger. In all, 14 of the 20 starters are no older than 26.

Instead of honoring popular veterans well past their primes—congratulations on tying the knot, Derek Jeter—the fans recognized baseball’s burgeoning crop of talent carrying the present and representing the future.

Let’s take a look at the finalized rosters and starting lineups for Tuesday night’s exhibition contest with real-world repercussions:


American League

In his final All-Star Game, Ortiz will babysit a loaded young lineup that features three Boston Red Sox teammates. If baseball’s best lineup wasn’t already stacked enough, the best of Boston’s batting order joins Jose Altuve, Mike Trout and Manny Machado.

This is what an All-Star lineup looks like when fans don’t go off the grid. Kansas City Royals skipper Ned Yost was gifted a group with contact, power and speed. Salvador Perez is the only starter batting below .295, and he’s a catcher with a .500 slugging percentage and excellent defensive skills. 

Yost could have picked the batting order out of a hat—Kansas City’s lineups occasionally have that look—and it would do just fine.

However, he faced a tougher decision regarding which pitcher to start. Having few choices to begin with, he lost a prime contender in late scratch Danny Salazar (elbow). With a staff dominated by relievers, he had limited options—unless he were to make the unconventional decision to open with one of his many late-inning specialists.

Instead, he chose one of baseball’s most respected aces: Chicago White Sox southpaw Chris Sale. During Monday’s media session, Yost referenced his familiarity with the American League Central foe, per CSN Chicago’s Dan Hayes:

For the few simpletons out there who still regard wins as the pinnacle of pitcher evaluation, this year’s 14-win campaign is better than Sale’s 12-win 2014 and 13-win 2015. Yet he’s having a letdown season for his astronomically high standards.

His 3.38 ERA, which would be a personal high if not for last year’s 3.41, is above his career 2.97 mark. While his peripherals indicate better 2015 production, his 8.86 strikeouts per nine innings and 3.74 FIP both represent the worst rates of his career.

Perhaps Yost made up his mind before Sale relinquished eight runs to the Atlanta Braves, baseball’s worst offense by nearly every metric. In his defense, the next-best choice was knuckleballer Steven Wright, who has allowed 18 runs over his last three starts.

Like Yost’s Royals, the AL squad is still in good shape if it can hand its loaded bullpen a lead. That could mean jumping ahead after three or four frames.


National League

New York Mets manager Terry Collins faced an extra decision. The fans don’t select the National League’s designated hitter, but the game will utilize one despite taking place in the San Diego Padres’ home. 

He could have selected former Mets star Daniel Murphy, who has tormented his old club with seven home runs and 21 RBI this year (after finishing with six apiece in 2011 and 2012). The Washington Nationals second baseman boasts an MLB-best .348 batting average with a career-high 17 homers and .985 OPS.

Instead, local attendees will get something to cheer for when Padres first baseman Wil Myers starts and bats in the cleanup spot. With most of his early career marred by injuries, the 25-year-old has enjoyed a breakout year with 19 homers, 15 steals and an .873 OPS.

Collins’ entire infield can relate to his Murphy-induced pain, as all four members represent the Chicago Cubs. Although the injured Dexter Fowler (hamstring) won’t join them, the team will still have an unusually big impact on the Midsummer Classic, as the USA Today‘s Bob Nightengale noted:

Voted into the starting lineup, Fowler and Yoenis Cespedes will sit out to the benefit of Carlos Gonzalez and Marcell Ozuna. The Colorado Rockies outfielder, who was eliminated in the first round of Monday night’s Home Run Derby, will hope to find better success away from Coors Field than his .737 first-half OPS. Ozuna, meanwhile, deserved to start all along with a 3.3 WAR, which is tied with Harper for the second-best among NL outfielders.

The reigning MVP has an opportunity to sway home-field advantage in the World Series on Tuesday night. But he told MLB Network on Monday night that he wishes he didn’t, courtesy of Rotoworld’s D.J. Short:

At first, Collins had the easiest starting pitching choice in the world thanks to Clayton Kershaw’s unbelievable first half. But then he landed on the disabled list (back). Madison Bumgarner, Noah Syndergaard and Stephen Strasburg were all enticing alternatives before getting replaced. Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester are slumping too much to join their Cubs teammates.

That left Johnny Cueto and Jose Fernandez as the top aces standing, and Collins selected the San Francisco Giants veteran. Let’s just pretend Cueto earned the nod on his 2.47 ERA and 2.70 FIP rather than his 13-1 record.

It’s probably for the best, as letting Fernandez loose for one inning later in the game should spark magic.


Note: All advanced statistics courtesy of FanGraphs unless otherwise noted.

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MLB All-Star Game 2016: AL, NL Rosters and Final Predictions

The 2016 Major League Baseball All-Star Game is nearly here, and the star-studded festivities shouldn’t disappoint when things get underway Tuesday night from Petco Park in San Diego.

But before the first pitch flies at 8 p.m. ET on Fox, it’s worth taking some time to acquaint yourself with this year’s rosters and starting lineups, which you can view below courtesy of ESPN Stats & Info on Twitter: 

So as time ticks down in advance of the Midsummer Classic, here’s a rundown of who to keep an eye on when it comes to the National League and American League sides. 


National League Roster

It’s hard to discuss this year’s NL roster and not marvel at the proliferation of Chicago Cubs players in the starting lineup.

Most notably, the Cubs are fielding the entire starting infield, with first baseman Anthony Rizzo, second baseman Ben Zobrist, third baseman Kris Bryant and shortstop Addison Russell hoping to bring some Wrigley Field magic to Petco Park. 

Russell in particular will be looking to make good on his nod since it’s snapping a decades-long drought, per ESPN Stats & Info: 

In terms of historical significance, All-Star feats don’t get much more rare than what the Cubs have accomplished. According to ESPN.com, Chicago is just the second team in history to send its four starting infielders to the Midsummer Classic as starters. The only other club to boast such status was the 1963 St. Louis Cardinals. 

“It’s an honor, and to have a lot of my teammates there with me will make it even more fun,” Bryant said, per ESPN.com. “Just having your teammates and friends there will make it more special. The nerves probably won’t be there as much as last year. You just look around and it’s a normal game.”

Dexter Fowler would have given Chicago a hefty share of the starting positions on the NL side, but a hamstring injury has sidelined him for the midseason spectacular. And with Yoenis Cespedes (quad) of the New York Mets also out, the Miami Marlins’ Marcell Ozuna and the Colorado Rockies’ Carlos Gonzalez will occupy starting positions in the outfield Tuesday evening, according to an official press release from MLB

The Washington Nationals’ Daniel Murphy and Wilson Ramos have been scorching-hot at the plate throughout the first half of the season, and their combined pop off the bench could help the NL solve a wicked AL pitching staff led by starter Chris Sale of the Chicago White Sox. 


American League Roster

Like the Cubs in the NL, the Boston Red Sox reign supreme in the AL.  

And while Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Mookie Betts may drive the hype machine as the AL seeks its fourth straight win with home-field advantage in the World Series up for grabs, David Ortiz should bask in the spotlight as he gets set to ride off into the sunset. 

He spoke about playing in his last All-Star Game, per ESPN.com’s Scott Lauber:

Having a break is great, you know what I’m saying? But it’s not like I’m going to another All-Star Game as a player. Getting around 3 million votes, that’s a lot of people that would like to see you out there. That’s something I really appreciate, that people take their time to vote for myself and my teammates and want us to be there as a massive group.

Tuesday will mark Ortiz’s 10th All-Star appearance, and it will serve not only as validation of his personal success this year, but as recognition of everything he’s accomplished over the course of an illustrious and hardware-clad career. 

Joining Boston’s talented group in Southern California will be a slew of Baltimore Orioles sluggers, several of whom have the power necessary to tilt the game in the AL’s favor at a moment’s notice. 

Manny Machado and Mark Trumbo have both shone to this point in the season, and their vision at the plate figures to be an invaluable resource for an AL side that will be looking to keep some of MLB’s hottest arms at bay. 



Both squads are plenty stacked, so trying to nitpick with regard to which has the edge from a micro perspective is a somewhat futile practice. 

But if there’s one macro factor that could decide things, it’s the NL’s outrageous pitching staff led by Jake Arrieta, Max Scherzer, Johnny Cueto and Jose Fernandez, among others. 

Spreading those four pitchers out over nine innings would be scary enough, but the fact that manager Terry Collins will also have the likes of Jon Lester, Jeurys Familia, Kenley Jansen and Drew Pomeranz at his disposal means there’s some serious potential for the NL to keep the AL in check throughout the evening. 

It may not be the most thrilling affair, but if Collins’ arms pitch up to par, the National League could be staring at its first All-Star Game win since 2012. 


Prediction: National League 5, American League 3

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2016 Home Run Derby Results: Winner and Reaction to Bracket-Style Format

The 2016 MLB Home Run Derby was a raging success in the second year of a new format, which featured timed rounds and a refreshing change of pace to an event that critics could argue tended to drag in the past.

Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton wowed fans at Petco Park in San Diego, taking down defending champion Todd Frazier in the final to claim victory.

Below is a glimpse at the results from all three rounds of Monday’s action, which featured a bracket-style setup of one-on-one duels:

Despite swatting 24 dingers in the opening round and 17 in the semifinals, Stanton still had enough in the tank to hit 20 homers in a head-to-head battle with Frazier. That gave Stanton 61 homers in total for the evening, but the quality of his swats was arguably more impressive than the quantity.

ESPN Stats & Info highlighted just how dominant Stanton was:

Yahoo Sports’ reaction was appropriate in light of the mind-boggling numbers Stanton put up:

At one point, BuzzFeed’s Lindsey Adler was essentially begging Stanton to show some mercy to his opponents, who were Robinson Cano, Mark Trumbo and Frazier, respectively:

A prominent theme was depictions of god-like muscle, as seen from Barstool Sports and CBS Sports:

Stanton is a dream Derby champion—and a Derby champion’s dream, if you will.

Still only 26 years old, he is already a growing legend and could bolster his legacy even further in the forthcoming Derby days, especially if he tries a little bit harder:

For those who have always loved the All-Star Game precursor featuring many of the game’s top sluggers, this revamped format has upped the stakes, sense of urgency and the sheer difficulty of the competition. It makes for a much more entertaining viewing experience.

But for such a format to work, it takes special athletes with a blend of strength and stamina like Stanton to make it pop for the casual fans.

Not to take anything away from the other seven contestants from this year’s showcase, but Stanton transcended the mundane. He set a new bar for what the Derby could be.

It’s up to Stanton to either continue showing off his legendary power every year or perhaps inspire others to rise to the occasion. In the short term, Stanton has created quite a tough performance to top.

The good news is, for those who spurned the event this year, such as Mike Trout and Bryce Harper, the prestige of the Derby stage and Stanton’s dominance may lead them to be warmer to the idea of participating.

No matter who shows up in 2017 and beyond, though, almost everyone who witnessed Monday’s Derby is bound to be clamoring for Stanton on an annual basis.

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MLB All-Star Game 2016: Start Time, Live Stream, TV Schedule and More

No matter which team you root for during the regular season, there is plenty to watch at the 2016 MLB All-Star Game.

While the starting lineups are dominated by two teams—the Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox will have eight starters between the two sides—each organization has a representative at the Midsummer Classic. Additionally, there are plenty of well-known players to follow on both teams, from young superstars to well-known veterans.

The squads will battle for home-field advantage in the World Series, but in reality, this is still just a chance to see the best in baseball on the big stage.


2016 MLB All-Star Game

When: Tuesday, July 12

Where: Petco Park; San Diego, California

Time: 8 p.m. ET

TV: Fox (Coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. ET)

Live Stream: Fox Sports Go

The past week saw some shuffling on the rosters because of injury concerns, but the starting lineups are officially set for the American League and National League teams, including the starting pitchers.

ESPN Stats & Info provided a look at the lineups:

While Johnny Cueto had a strong first half, he likely wasn’t the first choice for NL manager Terry Collins.

Sure, he leads the league with 13 wins to go with an impressive 2.47 ERA. However, it helps that Clayton Kershaw, Madison Bumgarner, Stephen Strasburg and Noah Syndergaard couldn’t compete in the exhibition for a variety of reasons.

In the end, the choice likely came down to Cueto and Jake Arrieta, and the latter has struggled as of late with 15 earned runs allowed in his last three starts. The San Francisco Giants starter became the easy decision.

There was also an easy choice in the AL, but that is due to the strong showing by Chris Sale in the first half of the season. He is coming off his worst start of the year (eight earned runs in five innings) but still has a 3.38 ERA in 2016. Most importantly, his 14 wins lead the majors at the All-Star break.

AL manager Ned Yost explained his thoughts on the division rival, per Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago:

Sale has been underrated in recent years despite the fact that he is going to his fifth consecutive All-Star Game, but he is impossible to ignore this time around.

With Steven Wright and as many as seven relievers potentially making appearances, this is a deep staff.

No matter what the pitchers do for the American League, the squad remains in good shape thanks to an impressive lineup from top to bottom: Jose Altuve, Mike Trout, Manny Machado and David Ortiz represent the perfect combination of batting average, speed and power at the top of the order.

Red Sox outfielders Jackie Bradley Jr. and Mookie Betts also have a chance to make an impact at the end of the order.

Meanwhile, the National League has some quality hitters as well, beginning with the Cubs duo of Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo.

According to Baseball-Reference.com, they have the two best WAR marks among NL position players this year:

Bryant has been especially impressive, with his 25 home runs leading the NL, making him a top contender for the MVP award with a few months to go.

The Giants—who have the majors’ best record—don’t have a lot of representatives in the game, but don’t count out catcher Buster Posey, who could come up with some big hits after barely securing the starting spot over Yadier Molina.

With these players in action for the first few innings and a long list of replacements ready to make an impact late in the game, this should be an enjoyable battle between two evenly matched opponents.


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MLB All-Star Game 2016: Full Midsummer Classic Preview and Predictions

Before long, the stars will descend on San Diego’s Petco Park and Major League Baseball’s annual midsummer bash will begin. The wait for the 2016 All-Star Game is over.

Looking to get up to speed on what this year’s game is all about? You’ve come to the right place.

We have a complete preview of this year’s Midsummer Classic, which gets underway at 8 p.m. ET. We’ll go through the starting pitchers and lineups chosen by National League manager Terry Collins and American League manager Ned Yost, as well as a few things to watch for. Because the baseball gods demand sacrifices, there will also be a prediction for who will win at the end.

That’s all there is to it. Step into the box when you’re ready.

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2016 MLB All-Star Game Odds: National League Small Favorite on Betting Lines

The National League will try to end a three-game winning streak for the American League when they square off Tuesday in the 2016 MLB All-Star Game at San Diego’s Petco Park.

The NL is currently set as a -120 favorite (bet $120 to win $100) at sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark, with Johnny Cueto (13-1, 2.47 ERA) of the San Francisco Giants getting the starting nod against the AL’s Chris Sale (14-3, 3.38) of the Chicago White Sox.

Cueto has proved to be an outstanding offseason addition for the NL West-leading Giants (57-33), who have the best record in the league and are just behind the Chicago Cubs on the odds to win the World Series, according to GambleOnline.co.

Cueto joined San Francisco after helping lead the Kansas City Royals to the World Series title last year, giving the the Giants arguably the best one-two punch in baseball behind ace Madison Bumgarner (10-4, 1.94 ERA).

Meanwhile, Sale leads all of baseball in wins as the ace for the White Sox (45-43), who were the top team in the AL for the first month of the season before coming back down to earth in the middle of May. He ranks third in the league in strikeouts with 123 and 11th in ERA.

Sale has never won the Cy Young Award, finishing a career-best third in 2014, but he will likely have some stiff competition from others who are pitching for more competitive teams.

Last year, the AL doubled up the NL 6-3 at Cincinnati’s Great American Ball Park behind winning pitcher David Price and MVP Mike Trout, who became the first player in 38 years to lead off the game with a homer.

The Royals ended up using the home-field advantage earned from that victory to defeat the New York Mets in the World Series.

The NL squad will be without a couple of top pitchers, as Bumgarner nearly no-hit the Arizona Diamondbacks (38-52) on Sunday night and will be replaced by Bartolo Colon of the Mets (47-41) as a result. Three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers will also miss the game because of a back injury after six previous appearances.

For the AL, David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox (49-38) will make his 10th and final appearance in the Midsummer Classic before retiring at the end of this season.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

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