The 2013 MLB All-Star Game is finally upon us, as the festivities have ended and the fight for home-field advantage in the World Series will soon commence. While everyone knows that the game will transpire, there's one question that everyone needs answered.
When and where can we watch the game?
The Midsummer Classic has long been the most competitive All-Star Game of America's big four sports. With the stipulations involved, both sides have something to play for, as home-field advantage is critical come the World Series.
To ensure you don't miss a second of the action, all of the viewing information can be found in the following article. From start times to rosters, we have it all.
What a game this should be.
Date: Tuesday, July 16
Time: 8 p.m. ET
Venue: Citi Field in Flushing Meadows, Queens, N.Y.
American League: Starting Lineup
|1.||Mike Trout||Los Angeles Angels||LF|
|2.||Robinson Cano||New York Yankees||2B|
|3.||Miguel Cabrera||Detroit Tigers||3B|
|4.||Chris Davis||Baltimore Orioles||1B|
|5.||Jose Bautista||Toronto Blue Jays||RF|
|6.||David Ortiz||Boston Red Sox||DH|
|7.||Adam Jones||Baltimore Orioles||CF|
|8.||Joe Mauer||Minnesota Twins||C|
|9.||J.J. Hardy||Baltimore Orioles||SS|
|N/A||Max Scherzer||Detroit Tigers||SP|
If we could only pick one aspect of the 2013 MLB All-Star Game to marvel over, it would be the top of the order for the American League. From MVP candidates to phenoms to home run masters, you have the most fearsome one-through-four in recent memory.
Mike Trout, Robinson Cano, Miguel Cabrera and Chris Davis—who do you want to pitch to?
Behind them are sluggers Jose Bautista and David Ortiz, as well as do-it-all center fielder Adam Jones and future Hall of Famer Joe Mauer. To cap it all off, they have J.J. Hardy hitting ninth, which sets the stage for a tough go-round once you reach the top of the lineup again.
It certainly doesn't hurt that Max Scherzer is the one pitching.
Scherzer is currently 13-1, leading the MLB in wins and ranking second to Yu Darvish in strikeouts. While no one expects this to be a collective shutout, Scherzer is the front-runner to win the Cy Young at this stage of the season.
With the run support he's bound to get, who's putting their money against him?
American League: Reserves
|Jason Castro||Houston Astros||C|
|Nelson Cruz||Texas Rangers||OF|
|Edwin Encarnacion||Toronto Blue Jays||1B/DH|
|Prince Fielder||Detroit Tigers||1B|
|Alex Gordon||Kansas City Royals||OF|
|Torii Hunter||Detroit Tigers||OF|
|Jason Kipnis||Cleveland Indians||2B|
|Manny Machado||Baltimore Orioles||3B|
|Dustin Pedroia||Boston Red Sox||2B|
|Jhonny Peralta||Detroit Tigers||SS|
|Salvator Perez||Kansas City Royals||C|
|Ben Zobrist||Tampa Bay Rays||UTIL|
The American League reserves are highlighted by some big names, including Nelson Cruz, Prince Fielder and Dustin Pedroia. There are also rising stars, with Alex Gordon, Jason Kipnis and Manny Machado all making their first career appearances.
The only question at this point is how will the American League fit all these high-profile players into one game?
Veterans Edwin Encarnacion and Torii Hunter are players worth watching, as each has something to prove. Both have been relatively under-appreciated for their level of play in 2013, and each has the opportunity to break through for the American League.
With superstars surrounding them, a home run here and a stellar catch there could remind us of why they're two of the best players in baseball.
With all of that being established, the world is waiting to see Fielder's power and Machado's—well, everything. Barehanded grabs along the third-base line and extra-base hits are what the fans want, and if the American League is hoping to win, it's what it will need.
The starting lineup may be substantially better than the reserves, but there are players who are of a starter's caliber scattered throughout the reserves.
American League: Pitchers
|Clay Buchholz||Boston Red Sox||RHP|
|Brett Cecil||Toronto Blue Jays||LHP|
|Bartolo Colon||Oakland Athletics||RHP|
|Jesse Crain||Chicago White Sox||RHP|
|Yu Darvish||Texas Rangers||RHP|
|Felix Hernandez||Seattle Mariners||RHP|
|Hisashi Iwakuma||Seattle Mariners||RHP|
|Justin Masterson||Cleveland Indians||RHP|
|Joe Nathan||Texas Rangers||RHP|
|Glen Perkins||Minnesota Twins||LHP|
|Mariano Rivera||New York Yankees||RHP|
|Chris Sale||Chicago White Sox||LHP|
|Justin Verlander||Detroit Tigers||RHP|
Bartolo Colon has been a revelation, Hisashi Iwakuma is becoming a dominant force and both Jesse Crain and Glen Perkins have been pleasant surprises. Felix Hernandez remains an ace, and both Chris Sale and Justin Verlander are superstars.
Regardless of what else is going on with the American League, though, this one is all about Mariano Rivera.
The greatest closer in the history of professional baseball will be playing in his final All-Star Game. The 43-year-old certainly deserves to be here, as he's second in the MLB with 30 saves on an ERA of 1.83 with just two blown opportunities.
According to Scott Boeck of USA Today Sports, American League manager Jim Leyland made sure there was no question about Rivera's availability in this game. Rivera chimed in, too:
"You can rest assured (Rivera) will be on the mound at some point and you will see him pitch," [Jim] Leyland said.
"It would be great," said Rivera about the opportunity of closing out the game. "This is home, even though this is the Mets stadium. This is New York City. It's home for us. It would be a beautiful thing."
We may be in New York Mets territory, but every person in the world will be giving Rivera a standing ovation after this one.
Rivera has distanced himself from the all-time greats and moved into his place as the most dominant relief pitcher to ever live. He has 13 All-Star Game appearances, five World Series championships and a World Series MVP award, to list only a few of his career achievements.
He also holds the MLB record with 638 career saves. The AL will be hoping to give him an unofficial one during the All-Star Game in what should be the most memorable moment of the evening.
National League: Starting Lineup
|1.||Brandon Phillips||Cincinnati Reds||2B|
|2.||Carlos Beltran||St. Louis Cardinals||RF|
|3.||Joey Votto||Cincinnati Reds||1B|
|4.||David Wright||New York Mets||3B|
|5.||Carlos Gonzalez||Colorado Rockies||LF|
|6.||Yadier Molina||St. Louis Cardinals||C|
|7.||Troy Tulowitzki||Colorado Rockies||SS|
|8.||Michael Cuddyer||Colorado Rockies||DH|
|9.||Bryce Harper||Washington Nationals||CF|
|N/A||Matt Harvey||New York Mets||SP|
The National League may lack the star power that the AL possesses, but that doesn't mean these hitters will be easy outs. With players in the middle of the lineup consisting of Joey Votto, David Wright and Carlos Gonzalez, it will be anything but manageable for American League ace Max Scherzer.
With that being said, all eyes will be set on hometown pitcher Matt Harvey of the New York Mets.
Harvey is currently 7-2 with an ERA of 2.35 and a WHIP of 0.92, also posting an NL-best 147 strikeouts. At Citi Field, he's posted an ERA of 2.21 and held batters to a batting average of .191.
Between him and Wright, Mets fans will be in for an evening to remember.
Fresh off of a loss in the Home Run Derby final, it will be interesting to see how Bryce Harper fares against the American League. With his elite level production dipping in recent weeks, Harper has dropped all the way to No. 9 in the NL starting lineup.
Plain and simple, all eyes are on the young guns.
National League: Reserves
|Pedro Alvarez||Pittsburgh Pirates||3B|
|Domonic Brown||Philadelphia Phillies||OF|
|Everth Cabrera||San Diego Padres||SS|
|Matt Carpenter||St. Louis Cardinals||2B|
|Allen Craig||St. Louis Cardinals||1B|
|Paul Goldschmidt||Arizona Diamondbacks||1B|
|Carlos Gomez||Milwaukee Brwers||OF|
|Andrew McCutchen||Pittsburgh Pirates||OF|
|Buster Posey||San Francisco Giants||C|
|Jean Segura||Milwaukee Brewers||SS|
|Marco Scutaro||San Francisco Giants||2B|
Believe it or not, there's an equal level of name value amongst the National League reserves as there is the starters. When your bench is highlighted by reigning regular-season MVP Buster Posey, superstar Andrew McCutchen and 2012 NLCS MVP Marco Scutaro, it's hard to debate that statement.
The question is, how quickly will they get the National League bats off of the bench?
There's an abundance of power with this team, as Pedro Alvarez, Domonic Brown and Paul Goldschmidt have emerged as three of the top home run hitters in baseball. With McCutchen and Posey being able to do it all, and Allen Craig serving as an RBI machine, we could see a high-scoring affair.
Surprisingly, it hasn't been the big names who have dominated the saber-metrics prior to the All-Star Game—it's been Carlos Gomez.
Gomez currently leads the MLB in the vaunted wins shares statistic, clocking at 5.7. He also leads all outfielders in defensive win shares, flashing his glove and becoming a SportsCenter mainstay with his home run saving catches.
If you're looking for entertainment, Gomez is the player to watch.
National League: Pitchers
|Madison Bumgarner||San Francisco Giants||LHP|
|Aroldis Chapman||Cincinnati Reds||LHP|
|Patrick Corbin||Arizona Diamondbacks||LHP|
|Jose Fernandez||Miami Marlins||RHP|
|Jason Grilli||Pittsburgh Pirates||RHP|
|Clayton Kershaw||Los Angeles Dodgers||LHP|
|Craig Kimbrel||Atlanta Braves||RHP|
|Cliff Lee||Philadelphia Phillies||LHP|
|Jeff Locke||Pittsburgh Pirates||LHP|
|Adam Wainwright||St. Louis Cardinals||RHP|
|Travis Wood||Chicago Cubs||LHP|
|Jordan Zimmerman||Washington Nationals||RHP|
When Clayton Kershaw, Cliff Lee and Adam Wainwright are coming out of your bullpen, you know you have something special going. When Aroldis Chapman and Craig Kimbrel comprise the back end of your bullpen, you have reason to believe you can shut anyone down.
And we haven't even touched on the presence of Madison Bumgarner, Patrick Corbin and Jordan Zimmerman.
The American League may own an edge with its hitting, but there should be no question about who has more depth in the bullpen. The National League boasts Cy Young award winners, lockdown relievers and some of the most powerful arms in all of baseball.
They may not have the legendary Mariano Rivera, but hitting off of Chapman, Jason Grilli or Kimbrel will be no walk in the park.
If the NL is going to pull off this victory and achieve home-field advantage in the World Series, it will need its pitchers to step up in a major way. The American League may not have the same pitching depth, but it still boasts stars and its hitters are world class.
With Matt Harvey, Kershaw, Lee, Wainwright and Bumgarner working through the early and middle innings, something tells us the NL will be just fine.