The MLB hosts the only All-Star Game that you aren’t allowed to smile in.
At a start time of 7:30 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, July 10, you can watch the 2012 AL and NL All-Stars go all-out in the most serious professional exhibition contest in the nation. While the NBA All-Star game is nothing but an alley-oop competition and the Pro Bowl is just a joke, home-field advantage in the World Series is on the line tonight. Here are the teams from each side that have the most to lose.
3. New York Yankees
The Yankees are interchangeable with any East or West coast ballclub. Forcing an opponent to fly across the country gives any team a major mental edge. For New York, the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants are both in the playoff hunt and the Yanks would have a huge leg up on either with home-field advantage.
2. Pittsburgh Pirates
Now, let’s be real. It’d be an absolute miracle if the Pirates were to earn a World Series berth—a movie-worthy miracle. But right now, they’re only one win behind the Washington Nationals for the first seed in the National League.
Pittsburgh is a franchise that literally has zero recent history of winning in the postseason—or any winning for that matter. Home-field advantage would be a huge boost for a club that could use every little advantage it can get.
1. Washington Nationals
Gio Gonzalez better help Bryce Harper and Stephen Strausburg get in the zone for their first All-Star appearance because the Nationals need a win. Traditionally, young athletes perform better in front of their home fans. And like the Pirates, Washington doesn’t have a rich history of winning all the way back to the Expos.
Washington is currently in first place in the NL. The youthful, inexperienced Nats would be aided by home-field advantage more than anyone in the World Series.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.