There are many traditions in baseball that make it America’s pastime, but none have the history and excitement associated with the MLB All-Star Game. The 2014 edition of the Midsummer Classic will live up to the lofty expectations.
With many of the top players in the league taking the field at the same time, fans will be treated to an amazing battle between the best pitchers in baseball and the elite hitters in the sport.
Here are the full rosters for both the National and American leagues and predictions for the 2014 MLB-All Star Game.
|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 Athletics||Jonathan Lucroy, C, Brewers|
|Kurt Suzuki, C, Minnesota Twins||Devin Mesoraco, C, Cincinnati Reds|
|Jose Abreu, 1B, Chicago White Sox||Freddie Freeman, 1B, Atlanta Braves|
|Victor Martinez, 1B, Detroit Tigers||Dee Gordon, 2B, Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Edwin Encarnacion, 1B, Toronto Blue Jays||Daniel Murphy, 2B, New York Mets|
|Brandon Moss, 1B/OF, Oakland Athletics||Starlin Castro, SS, Chicago Cubs|
|Jose Altuve, 2B, Houston Astros||Todd Frazier, 3B, Cincinnati Reds|
|Alexei Ramirez, SS, Chicago White Sox||Matt Carpenter, 3B, St. Louis Cardinals|
|Adrian Beltre, 3B, Texas Rangers||Josh Harrison, IF/OF, Pittsburgh Pirates|
|Yoenis Cespedes, OF, Oakland Athletics||Charlie Blackmon, OF, Colorado Rockies|
|Alex Gordon, OF, Kansas City Royals||Hunter Pence, OF, San Francisco Giants|
|Michael Brantley, OF, Cleveland Indians|
|AL Pitchers||NL Pitchers|
|Yu Darvish, RHP, Texas Rangers||Johnny Cueto, RHP, Cincinnati Reds|
|Max Scherzer, RHP, Detroit Tigers||Clayton Kershaw, LHP, Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Felix Hernandez, RHP, Seattle Mariners||Zack Greinke, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Masahiro Tanaka, RHP, New York Yankees||Madison Bumgarner, LHP, San Francisco Giants|
|Jon Lester, LHP, Boston Red Sox||Adam Wainwright, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals|
|David Price, LHP, Tampa Bay Rays||Tyson Ross, RHP, San Diego Padres|
|Scott Kazmir, LHP, Oakland Athletics||Jordan Zimmermann, RHP, Washington Nationals|
|Mark Buehrle, LHP, Toronto Blue Jays||Julio Teheran, RHP, Atlanta Braves|
|Sean Doolittle, LHP, Oakland Athletics||Craig Kimbrel, RHP Atlanta Braves|
|Greg Holland, RHP, Kansas City Royals||Aroldis Chapman, LHP, Cincinnati Reds|
|Glen Perkins, LHP, Minnesota Twins||Francisco Rodriguez, RHP, Milwaukee Brewers|
|Dellin Betances, RHP, New York Yankees||Tony Watson, LHP, Pittsburgh Pirates|
|Pat Neshek, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals|
Breaking Down the 2014 All-Star Game
While the hitters on both rosters will make it difficult for opposing pitchers to shine during the All-Star Game, the vast array of top hurlers on either team will be the ultimate difference-maker.
Fans will be expecting elite batters like Troy Tulowitzki, Andrew McCutchen and Yasiel Puig from the NL side and Miguel Cabrera, Mike Trout and Jose Bautista from the AL side to dominate, but the pitching depth is even more impressive.
The key to victory for both teams will be the pitching.
On the American League side, look for starters like Yu Darvish, Felix Hernandez, Jon Lester and David Price to carry the team for most of the game. If the AL coaching staff can get two innings out of each elite pitcher, there will only be one inning for the relief pitchers to worry about.
While there is a strong cast of characters in the bullpen for the American League with Sean Doolittle, Greg Holland, Glen Perkins and Dellin Betances, the coaching staff would like to leave the ball in the hands of proven stars when possible.
As stellar as each reliever played to reach the All-Star Game, none have achieved the long-term success that will instill unquestioned confidence. Expect the AL to lean more on the starters than the relief pitchers.
Boston Red Sox manager and American League shot-caller John Farrell spoke about the importance of the game with Jen McCaffrey of MassLive.com:
I will say having going through this the first time you’re handed an awful lot to make sure you include so it begins to narrow the selections quickly. You want to do what’s right for the individuals who’ve had great first halves of this season and then you look at what’s the best roster particularly when you look at the spare players or the extra players in event of a need late in a game. So that also factors into it as well. We have an obligation to do everything we can to win the game for home field advantage in October.
On the National League side, there is just as much pitching prowess. With bona fide stars like Johnny Cueto, Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Madison Bumgarner and Adam Wainwright all earning a spot on the roster, the NL coaching staff will be looking to get eight innings out of the top five starting pitchers.
Even if one or more of the starting pitchers falter, the NL has the superior bullpen. With anchors such as Craig Kimbrel, Aroldis Chapman and Francisco Rodriguez ready and willing to come in any time and dominate the opposing hitters, the American League has been put on notice.
The sheer offensive depth on each team will result in some offensive production, but fans shouldn’t expect a batting clinic during the 2014 All-Star Game. There is just too much skill on the mound for the score to get out of hand.
Expect the National League to use its bullpen advantage to stifle any momentum the AL builds and steal the show with the victory. All signs point to the NL having home-field advantage for the World Series.
Predicted Winner: National League, 5-3.
*Stats via MLB.com.