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Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw, Rays' Shane McClanahan to Start 2022 MLB All-Star Game

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJuly 18, 2022

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw and Tampa Bay Rays’ Shane McClanahan will start the 2022 MLB All-Star Game for their respective leagues.

Kershaw will get to check off another accolade in his legendary career. This will be the first time the southpaw opens the Midsummer Classic, and he gets to do it at his home park, Dodger Stadium.

Jack Harris @Jack_A_Harris

Clayton Kershaw knows others have better numbers, but said he’s excited about getting to start the All-Star Game<br><br>“Now that it’s finally here, and I get to start the game tomorrow night, it means a lot.”

Helene Elliott @helenenothelen

“Thanks for letting me start this thing,” says Kershaw.

The 34-year-old is enjoying a return to form. Through 12 starts, he's 7-2 with a 2.13 ERA and a 2.47 FIP. Despite only logging 71.2 innings, his 2.2 WAR are tied for 11th among National League starting pitchers, per FanGraphs.

Kershaw headed into the All-Star break on a high. In his most recent start, he took a perfect game into the eighth inning against the Los Angeles Angels.

Miami Marlins ace Sandy Alcantara is having a stronger season. The right-hander is the NL leader in ERA (1.76), and his 233 ERA+ is the best across both leagues. Alcantara has also thrown an MLB-high 138.1 innings and earned two complete games.

As both a symbolic recognition of his career achievements and a reflection of his performance this season, giving Kershaw the nod was an understandable choice nonetheless.

In the American League, there's far less dispute with McClanahan.

The 25-year-old is the MLB leader in ERA (1.71) and WHIP (0.795) while pacing the AL in ERA+ (212) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (7.74). He has gone more than a month without allowing more than one earned run in a single start.

Kershaw and McClanahan obviously won't pitch deep into the All-Star Game, but it will be a lot of fun for the brief time they're going head to head.

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