MLB All-Star Voting 2013: Breaking Down Each League's Pitching Staff

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistJuly 14, 2013

ST PETERSBURG, FL - JUNE 28:  Max Sherzer #37 of the Detroit Tigers pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays during the game at Tropicana Field on June 28, 2013 in St. Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
J. Meric/Getty Images

One of the main arguments surrounding the MLB All-Star Game is the voting. Many will reason that fans shouldn't have such a large impact since the game is for home-field advantage in the World Series, while others say fans have to remain involved to build hype.

 

In order to find common ground, the fans are able to select the starting lineup of hitters for both sides. Players, coaches and managers then combine to build the pitching staffs, making sure one fanbase can't vote its entire staff into the game. It's a good compromise.

And with a terrific group of hitters on both teams, it's often the pitching that decides the game. Whichever staff is able to keep the sluggers on the other side at bay provides its league with home-field advantage in the Fall Classic.

Knowing that, let's check out the pitching staffs that were chosen for each side. To get a complete look at the All-Stars for both the AL and NL, visit the league's official site.

 

American League

Clay Buchholz*Brett CecilBartolo ColonJesse Crain*
Yu Darvish*Steve DelabarFelix HernandezHisashi Iwakuma
Justin MastersonMatt MooreJoe NathanGlen Perkins
Mariano RiveraChris SaleMax ScherzerJustin Verlander

*Denotes pitcher won't take part due to injury.

Max Scherzer headlines the AL pitching staff despite being being overshadowed by teammate Justin Verlander, who also made the squad, in recent years. The Detroit Tigers starter was 13-0 before a loss to the Texas Rangers on Saturday.

One player the AL side will definitely miss is Yu Darvish. The Texas Rangers ace recently landed on the disabled list with a back injury. He's built for the All-Star game because his extremely high strikeout rate gives him a better chance to survive the heart of the opposing order.

Among the pitchers listed on the initial roster—which could still change before game day—who will need to pick up the slack are Matt Moore and Justin Masterson. Moore got off to a tremendous start and recently returned to form after a June slump.

The other big name on the staff is Felix Hernandez. One of the best pitchers in the AL over the past decade, he's enjoying another great season (2.53 ERA). Playing in Seattle is seemingly the one reason the Mariners star doesn't get more attention.

In the bullpen, all eyes will be focused on longtime New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera. He's set to retire at season's end, meaning this will be his last All-Star appearance. Seeing him close out an AL victory wouldn't be a surprise.

 

National League

Madison BumgarnerAroldis ChapmanPatrick CorbinJose Fernandez
Matt HarveyJason GrilliClayton KershawCraig Kimbrel
Jeff Locke*Cliff LeeAdam WainwrightTravis Wood
Jordan Zimmerman*   

*Denotes pitcher won't take part due to injury.

While the AL will rely on its starting pitching and Rivera, the NL features a shutdown bullpen that should give the league confidence in holding a lead if it's ahead after six innings. That's a nice advantage in this type of game.

Aroldis Chapman, Craig Kimbrel and Jason Grilli have all done fantastic work closing out games for their respective teams. Having two flamethrowers in Chapman, a lefty, and Kimbrel, a righty, to bring on for the eighth and ninth would make life difficult on the AL.

Reaching the bullpen is the key. New York Mets rising star Matt Harvey, who will be playing in front of his home fans at Citi Field, has been the most talked-about starter in the NL. He sports a 2.35 ERA and leads the senior circuit in strikeouts.

He's joined by Clayton Kershaw and Cliff Lee. The Los Angeles Dodgers star has an ERA below two through 20 starts. The Philadelphia Phillies lefty is 10-3 with a rock solid 2.86 ERA. Both should provide solid innings of work.

Not having breakout star Jeff Locke is a setback, though. He struggled mightily in 12 appearances prior to this season but has a 2.15 ERA at the break. The Pittsburgh Pirates need to make sure he's healthy for the stretch run.