2014 MLB All-Star Roster: Predictions for Starting Pitchers of Midsummer Classic

Donald Wood@@Donald_WoodFeatured ColumnistJuly 9, 2014

os Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw throws against the St. Louis Cardinals in the first inning of a baseball game on Sunday, June 29, 2014, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)
Alex Gallardo/Associated Press

The 2014 Major League Baseball All-Star Game is one of the most anticipated events of the year, and the excitement went through the roof when the rosters for the National and American leagues were announced.

With some of the biggest names in MLB taking the field at the same time—including several of the top starting pitchers in the world—there is guaranteed to be enough action to satisfy every baseball fan. 

Here is the full 2014 MLB All-Star roster and predictions for the starting pitchers.

2014 MLB All-Star Game Rosters
American League National League
Salvador Perez, C, Kansas City Royals*Yadier Molina, C, St. Louis Cardinals*
Miguel Cabrera, 1B, Detroit Tigers*Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, Arizona Diamondbacks*
Robinson Cano, 2B, Seattle Mariners*Chase Utley, 2B, Philadelphia Phillies*
Derek Jeter, SS, New York Yankees*Troy Tulowitzki, SS, Colorado Rockies*
Josh Donaldson, 3B, Oakland Athletics*Aramis Ramirez, 3B, Milwaukee Brewers*
Mike Trout, OF, Los Angeles Angels*Andrew McCutchen, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates*
Jose Bautista, OF, Toronto Blue Jays*Carlos Gomez, OF, Milwaukee Brewers*
Adam Jones, OF, Baltimore Orioles*Yasiel Puig, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers*
Nelson Cruz, DH, Baltimore Orioles*Giancarlo Stanton, DH, Miami Marlins*
AL Reserves NL Reserves
Derek Norris, C, Oakland AthleticsJonathan Lucroy, C, Brewers
Kurt Suzuki, C, Minnesota TwinsDevin Mesoraco, C, Cincinnati Reds
Jose Abreu, 1B, Chicago White SoxFreddie Freeman, 1B, Atlanta Braves
Victor Martinez, 1B, Detroit TigersDee Gordon, 2B, Los Angeles Dodgers
Edwin Encarnacion, 1B, Toronto Blue JaysDaniel Murphy, 2B, New York Mets
Brandon Moss, 1B/OF, Oakland AthleticsStarlin Castro, SS, Chicago Cubs
Jose Altuve, 2B, Houston AstrosTodd Frazier, 3B, Cincinnati Reds
Alexei Ramirez, SS, Chicago White SoxMatt Carpenter, 3B, St. Louis Cardinals
Adrian Beltre, 3B, Texas RangersJosh Harrison, IF/OF, Pittsburgh Pirates
Yoenis Cespedes, OF, Oakland AthleticsCharlie Blackmon, OF, Colorado Rockies
Alex Gordon, OF, Kansas City RoyalsHunter Pence, OF, San Francisco Giants
Michael Brantley, OF, Cleveland Indians
AL Pitchers NL Pitchers
Yu Darvish, RHP, Texas RangersJohnny Cueto, RHP, Cincinnati Reds
Max Scherzer, RHP, Detroit TigersClayton Kershaw, LHP, Los Angeles Dodgers
Felix Hernandez, RHP, Seattle MarinersZack Greinke, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers
Masahiro Tanaka, RHP, New York YankeesMadison Bumgarner, LHP, San Francisco Giants
Jon Lester, LHP, Boston Red Sox Adam Wainwright, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals
David Price, LHP, Tampa Bay RaysTyson Ross, RHP, San Diego Padres
Scott Kazmir, LHP, Oakland AthleticsJordan Zimmermann, RHP, Washington Nationals
Mark Buehrle, LHP, Toronto Blue JaysJulio Teheran, RHP, Atlanta Braves
Sean Doolittle, LHP, Oakland AthleticsCraig Kimbrel, RHP Atlanta Braves
Greg Holland, RHP, Kansas City RoyalsAroldis Chapman, LHP, Cincinnati Reds
Glen Perkins, LHP, Minnesota TwinsFrancisco Rodriguez, RHP, Milwaukee Brewers
Dellin Betances, RHP, New York YankeesTony Watson, LHP, Pittsburgh Pirates
Pat Neshek, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals
Source: MLB.com. *Denotes starter.


Predictions for Starting Pitching

There is no doubt that being voted to an All-Star Game is a great honor for any player, but starting pitchers are under an incredible amount of scrutiny.

While hitters are forced to face several of the top pitchers in the league, the starting pitchers must stare down some of the most dangerous hitters in the history of the sport.

Regardless of how well a starter has performed thus far in 2014, squaring off against the likes of Troy Tulowitzki, Andrew McCutchen, Mike Trout, Miguel Cabrera and others is a daunting task.

Several elite relief pitchers made the All-Star teams, but the coaching staffs will look to save them for eighth- and ninth-inning duty. With plenty of depth and talent on both sides when it comes to starting pitchers, fans should expect around two innings out of each of the top stars and one inning of work or less for the rest.

Red Sox coach and American League manager John Farrell told Barry M. Bloom of MLB.com about his game plan for his roster at the All-Star Game:

We'll do everything we can to make sure everyone makes an appearance, particularly the position players. That may be a little bit more controllable than the pitching side of things. But at the same time, there are a lot of people who will look back on this game, on this event, as a contributing, pivotal moment in their postseason run.

Now that one coach has shared how he views using pitchers, here is my official prediction for the starting pitchers:

2014 MLB All-Star Game Pitching Predictions
AL Starting PitchersPredicted Stat LineNL Starting PitchersPredicted Stat Line
Yu Darvish2 IP, 0 ER, 1 KJohnny Cueto1 IP, 1 ER, 1 K
Max Scherzer1 IP, 2 ER, 0 KClayton Kershaw2 IP, 0 ER, 3 K
Felix Hernandez2 IP, 0 ER, 3 KZack Greinke1 IP, 0 ER, 1 K
Masahiro Tanaka2 IP, 0 ER, 2 KMadison Bumgarner1 IP, 1 ER, 0 K
Jon Lester1 IP, 0 ER, 1 KAdam Wainwright2 IP, 0 ER, 2 K
David PriceDoe Not PlayTyson RossDoe Not Play
Scott KazmirDoe Not PlayJordan ZimmermannDoe Not Play
Mark BuehrleDoe Not PlayJulio TeheranDoe Not Play
Total8 IP, 2 ER, 7 KTotal7 IP, 2 ER, 7 K
Predictions via Donald Wood

It is uncertain which starter will get the nod for the first inning, but Masahiro Tanaka deserves it most on the American League side, and Clayton Kershaw deserves it most on the National League side.

How about Tanaka vs. Kershaw as a potential head-to-head matchup?

Starting with the AL, Tanaka should lead one of the most talented starting groups in recent memory. Add Felix Hernandez and Yu Darvish, and there is little doubt that Farrell can get at least six innings out of his top three pitchers.

Max Scherzer is the biggest liability out of the possible starters, and fans shouldn’t be shocked to see Farrell get at least one inning out of Red Sox starter Jon Lester. When the game reaches the eighth and ninth innings, expect the American League to turn to its stacked bullpen for relief.

On the NL side, the team will use more of a committee approach. While Kershaw and Adam Wainwright deserve to go two innings apiece, pitchers such as Johnny Cueto, Zack Greinke and Madison Bumgarner should only be used for one inning.

With a relief staff consisting of Craig Kimbrel, Aroldis Chapman and Francisco Rodriguez, there is no need to push the starting pitchers beyond their abilities.

There is so much talent on both teams that fans will be treated to an amazing display of pitching acumen regardless of who starts and how many innings each pitcher racks up.


Stats via MLB.com.


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