2013 All-Star Roster: Breaking Down Which Squad Holds the Early Edge
The 2013 MLB All-Star Game rosters have been announced, and on paper, it's clear which team has the advantage. Home-field advantage in this year's World Series is on the line, and the National League will earn that honor.
Playing in the New York Mets' Citi Field paired with its roster, the National League has the edge on paper. There are plenty of first-timers on the NL squad, but that is not due to any kind of lack of talent in the league.
Here is the full All-Star roster for both squads, courtesy of MLB.com:
MLB All-Star Game Starters
|*OF||Jose Bautista||Blue Jays|
|*DH||David Ortiz||Red Sox|
|^P||Clay Buchholz||Red Sox|
|P||Brett Cecil||Blue Jays|
|^P||Jesse Crain||White Sox|
|P||Chris Sale||White Sox|
|2B||Dustin Pedroia||Red Sox|
|DH||Edwin Encarnacion||Blue Jays|
* = Starter
^ = Injured, will not play
Both teams have exciting and talented rosters, with the American League boasting red-hot Chris Davis and his 33 home runs. Countering Davis and the AL batters' firepower are Matt Harvey, Clayton Kershaw, Cliff Lee, Madison Bumgarner and others.
Kershaw owns the MLB's lowest ERA at 1.93, with fellow NL All-Stars Harvey and Adam Wainwright just behind at 2.27 and 2.36, respectively. All three pitchers have struck out at least 117 batters already this season.
American League hurler Felix Hernandez currently owns the 10th-best ERA in the league but does have 130 strikeouts to his name so far. Yu Darvish, Justin Verlander and Chris Sale are other fine AL arms available, but there's more to like about the National League names.
Aroldis Chapman, Jason Grilli and Craig Kimbrel are available to pitch the last few innings for the NL. Those three have the edge over Glen Perkins, Joe Nathan and Mariano Rivera.
Justin Masterson and Max Scherzer are other weak links on the AL squad. Masterson has been shelled for six earned runs in two of his past three outings.
Which All-Star team has the edge?
Scherzer is on a roll this year, but his 2011 and 2012 seasons cannot be forgotten. He finished with an ERA of 3.74 or higher both years and lost two of his three postseason starts last year.
As for batting, having Mike Trout, Davis and Jose Bautista is intimidating paired with David Ortiz and others.
When you look at the NL with David Wright, Bryce Harper, Carlos Beltran and Carlos Gonzalez, there's a lot to like for the home team.
The batting is a bit of a wash. Wright doesn't have the pop that AL third baseman Davis has, but he knows Citi Field better than anyone in the All-Star game. No manager could go wrong with either team's starting outfielders.
Like other recent All-Star Games, this one will come down to pitching. Over the past three All-Star Games, the American League has tallied just two runs and lost each exhibition. Expect the pitching depth of the National League to best the AL for the fourth straight year at Citi Field.
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