MLB All Star Game 2011: 5 Things You Should Know
The MLB All-Star Game is a great time for baseball fans to enjoy a few nights of festivities and enjoy the game they love.
This year's game will be no different and has many interesting story lines, including the winning team getting home field advantage in the World Series.
This list will give baseball fans the information they need before watching this year's game and might teach you something about the 2011 Midsummer Classic.
The Game Will Be Held at Chase Field in Phoenix
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This is an obvious one but this year;s All-Star Game is being held at Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, and is one of the nicest facilities in the professional sports.
Chase Field has a retractable roof and is air conditioned to keep the heat of the Arizona summer out. Watching a game in the stadium couldn't be more comfortable, unless there were a La-Z-Boy Chair involved.
The stadium is probably most famous, though, for its swimming pool.
While a swimming pool in a MLB stadium may have baseball purists going crazy, for the average fan it is a great addition and just adds to the overall experience of being at Chase Field. It improves the quality of the product that the Arizona Diamondbacks are selling and makes it more fun for everyone attending the game.
Chase Field is easily one of the nicest stadiums in baseball and will be a fantastic spot to host the 2011 MLB All-Star Game.
Here Are the Batting Orders
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American League Batting Order:
1. Curtis Granderson, CF, New York Yankees
2. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS, Cleveland Indians
3. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B, Boston Red Sox
4. Jose Bautista, RF, Toronto Blue Jays
5. Josh Hamilton, LF, Texas Rangers
6. Adrian Beltre, 3B, Texas Rangers
7. David Ortiz, DH, Boston Red Sox
8. Robinson Cano, 2B, New York Yankees
9. Alex Avila, C, Detroit Tigers
National League Batting Order:
1. Rickie Weeks, 2B, Milwaukee Brewers
2. Carlos Beltran, DH, New York Mets
3. Matt Kemp, CF, Los Angeles Dodgers
4. Prince Fielder, 1B, Milwaukee Brewers
5. Brian Mcann, C, Atlanta Braves
6. Lance Berkman, RF, St. Louis Cardinals
7. Matt Holiday, LF, St. Louis Cardinals
8. Troy Tulowitzki, SS, Colorado Rockies
9. Scott Rolen, 3B, Cincinnati Reds
The American League clearly has the better lineup and has the advantage on offense, but that doesn't mean the National League can't hit the ball.
The National League order is very interesting, especially Matt Kemp and Prince Fielder at the third and fourth spots, respectively.
Those two are going to be the driving force of the National League's offense, so look for them to be driving in runs tonight.
The Starting Pitchers for Each Team
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American League Starter: Jerrod Weaver, Los Angeles Angels
National League Starter: Roy Halladay, Philadelphia Phillies
One of the highest honors a pitcher can receive is being the starter of the All-Star Game and both of these guys are deserving.
Halladay has been his normal, dominant self and is 11-3 with a 2.45 ERA. Halladay has also helped the Phillies build a three and a half game lead in the NL East, the largest division lead in baseball.
Halladay is going to have to pitch well if the NL is going to win and he may be the most important player for the team.
Jerrod Weaver is also having a stellar season going 11-4 in the first half with a major league-leading 1.86 ERA.
Weaver is keeping the Angels in the AL West division race and has them only one game behind the Texas Rangers for first.
Weaver should pitch well against a weaker than usual NL lineup and be a major contributor if the AL is to win.
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Maybe the most important thing to know going into this game is who isn't there who should be.
Every year players get "snubbed" and are left off the All-Star roster when they probably should have made it.
Whether it is the fan vote leaving them off or the mangers of each team making mistakes when filling out their roster, players get screwed.
This year is no different and there are several players from each league that were "snubbed" of a spot on the team.
American League Snubs:
CC Sabathia was one of the biggest snubs until he was added to the roster as Sunday starter rule replacement for Tampa Bay Ray's pitcher James Shields.
Sabathia is 11-4 with an ERA of 3.05 and has thrown 106 strikeouts. He should have made this team in the first place, even with a lot of the team already coming from the Yankees.
Paul Konerko was another monster snub until he was voted in for the final roster spot by the fans.
Konerko is the leader the Chicago White Sox, and their best offensive player. Carlos Quentin made the team over Konerko even with inferior numbers.
Lucky for White Sox fans, Konerko still made the team and will be playing tonight.
National League Snubs:
Andrew McCutchen wasn't a total snub and made the team as an injury replacement for Ryan Braun.
The National League is loaded with outfield talent and while that is the reason McCutchen didn't make the team at first, it isn't a good enough reason.
McCutchen has the Pittsburgh Pirates fighting for first place in the NL Central and that alone should be enough to get you onto the roster.
Tommy Hanson is having a great year and is the biggest snub for the NL.
Hanson didn't make the team even after going 10-4 in the first half of the season, having an ERA of 2.44 and striking out 109.
Hanson has a great record and great ERA and still didn't make the team. He was straight up snubbed.
Outcome of the Game
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The difference between the MLB All-Star Game and the other pro sports All-Star games is that this game actually counts for something.
Whichever league wins the game tonight will have home field advantage throughout the World Series.
Regardless of whether you like this rule, in general it means the players will give it 100 percent and try their hardest to win the game.
This makes the MLB All-Star Game by far the most interesting All-Star game to watch and this year should be filled with drama and overall great baseball.
The American League has a better team overall, but I still see the National League winning. The National League seems like a scrappy, us-against-the-world type baseball team, except with a lot more talent.
The NL also, arguably of course, has the better pitching staff and if Roy Halladay can slow the AL during his time on the mound, the NL will have a great chance at winning.
6-5 National League