The 2014 MLB All-Star Game will take place on Tuesday, July 15, at Target Field in Minnesota, and the excitement surrounding the top stars in the sport has hardcore and causal baseball fans ready for the Midsummer Classic.
With an incredible group of hitters for both teams and an even more impressive array of starting and relief pitchers, the focus will be on which of these groups falters first and gives their league home-field advantage in the World Series.
Here are the complete rosters for both the American League and the National League, the starting lineups as voted by the fans and predictions for the player most likely to steal the show.
|National League||defeats||American League||5-3|
Predictions via Donald Wood
|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, Milwaukee 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|
|Fernando Rodney, RHP, Seattle Mariners||Tyson Ross, RHP, San Diego Padres|
|Scott Kazmir, LHP, Oakland Athletics||Henderson Alvarez, RHP, Miami Marlins|
|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|
Player to Watch: Chase Utley, 2B, Philadelphia Phillies
There are few players who made the All-Star Game who deserve the honor as much as Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Chase Utley.
Utley has put together an impressive 2014 season thus far, racking up a .295 batting average, eight home runs, 46 RBI, 51 runs, 104 hits and a .352 on-base percentage. You have to go back to 2009 to find numbers that impressive for the second baseman.
Interestingly enough, 2009 was the last time Utley played in the All-Star Game.
When asked about the honor of participating in the Midsummer Classic Utley told Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News about what it means to him at this point in his career:
Obviously I'm honored to represent the Phillies and the National League in the All-Star Game. It's been a lot of fun. It's been a few years since I've been able to participate. I'm going to try to enjoy it.
I think all the time and the hard work I've put in has paid off. Obviously your first All-Star Game, you really appreciate. After the issues I've gone through over the past 2-3 years, it is nice to be back.
The official Twitter account of the World Baseball Classic shared how many times Utley has been a part of the MLB All-Star Game over the course of his storied career:
Lawrence shared on Twitter how dominant Utley has been and where he stands from a historical point of view:
Only 2 NL second baseman have started more All-Star Games than Chase Utley, who returns for first time in 4 years: http://t.co/asmWTuaxOh— Ryan Lawrence (@ryanlawrence21) July 6, 2014
The key for Utley will be finding a rhythm on the big stage. In nine career at-bats in All-Star Games, he only has two hits and no runs or RBI. If the National League wants to earn home-field advantage in the World Series, Utley will have to solve the riddle of the tough American League pitching staff.
Who ya got?
Utley is a student of the game and will know what to expect from each pitcher he potentially could face. With his days in Philadelphia possibly numbered, he will want to showcase his skills during the All-Star Game.
You never know if a 35-year-old player will ever make the team again.
Predicted Stat Line: 2 ABs, 2 Hits, 1 RBI, 1 Run
*Stats via MLB.com.