2018 MLB All-Star Roster: Complete Lineups and Top Storylines to Watch

Steve Silverman@@profootballboyFeatured ColumnistJuly 13, 2018

Bryce Harper could be the headline performer at the All-Star Game.
Bryce Harper could be the headline performer at the All-Star Game.Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

It's difficult to look at the 2018 All-Star Game and predict that this is the year the National League turns things around against the American League.

The American League has dominated over the short term and the long term. The Junior Circuit has won five games in a row and is on a 23-6-1 run over the last 30 years. As a result, the series is tied at 43-43-2, and the American League can take a lead in the series for the first time since 1963 if it can win Tuesday night at Nationals Park in Washington.

That's one of the storylines of this year's All-Star Game, and while it may not be headline material to many who view it as a meaningless exhibition, that's not the case to those who have followed the history of the sport.

2018 MLB All-Star Game Information

Date: Tuesday, July 17

Time: 8 p.m. ET

TV: Fox 

     

Rosters

American League 

Starters

Wilson Ramos. C, Tampa Bay

Jose Abreu, 1B. Chicago White Sox

Jose Altuve. 2B, Houston

Jose Ramirez, 3B, Cleveland

Manny Machado, SS, Baltimore

Mike Trout, OF, Los Angeles Angels

Aaron Judge, OF, New York Yankees

Mookie Betts, OF, Boston

J.D. Martinez, OF, Boston

   

Reserves 

Salvador Perez, C, Kansas City 

Mitch Moreland, 1B, Boston 

Jed Lowrie, 2B, Oakland

Gleyber Torres, 2B, New York Yankees*

Alex Bregman, 3B, Houston 

Francisco Lindor, SS, Cleveland

Jean Segura, SS, Seattle 

Michael Brantley, OF, Cleveland

Shin-Soo Choo, OF, Texas

Mitch Haniger, OF, Seattle

George Springer, OF, Houston

Nelson Cruz, DH, Seattle

   

Pitchers

Trevor Bauer, Cleveland

Jose Berrios, Minnesota

Aroldis Chapman, New York Yankees

Gerrit Cole, Houston 

Edwin Diaz, Seattle

J.A. Happ, Toronto 

Joe Jimenez, Detroit

Craig Kimbrel, Boston 

Corey Kluber, Cleveland

Chris Sale, Boston 

Luis Severino, New York Yankees

Blake Treinen, Oakland

Justin Verlander, Detroit*

    

National League 

Starters

Willson Contreras, C, Chicago Cubs

Freddie Freeman, 1B, Atlanta

Javier Baez, 2B, Chicago Cubs

Nolan Arenado, 3B, Colorado

Brandon Crawford, SS, San Francisco 

Nick Markakis, OF, Atlanta

Matt Kemp, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers

Bryce Harper, OF, Washington 

    

Reserves

Yadier Molina, C, St. Louis

Buster Posey, C, San Francisco*

J.T. Realmuto, C, Miami 

Jesus Aguilar, 1B, Milwaukee

Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, Arizona

Joey Votto, 1B, Cincinnati

Ozzie Albies, 2B, Atlanta

Scooter Gennett, 2B, Cincinnati 

Eugenio Suarez, 3B, Cincinnati 

Trevor Story, SS, Colorado

Charlie Blackmon, OF, Colorado

Lorenzo Cain, OF, Milwaukee

Christian Yelich, OF, Milwaukee

Jesus Aguilar, 1B, Milwaukee

   

Pitchers

Patrick Corbin, Arizona

Jacob deGrom, New York Mets

Sean Doolittle, Washington*

Mike Foltynewicz, Atlanta

Josh Hader, Milwaukee

Brad Hand, San Diego

Kenley Jansen, Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon Lester, Chicago Cubs*

Miles Mikolas, St. Louis*

Aaron Nola, Philadelphia

Max Scherzer, Washington 

Ross Stripling, Los Angeles Dodgers

Felipe Vazquez, Pittsburgh 

Zack Greinke, Arizona

Jeremy Jeffress, Milwaukee

*-denotes player won't be participating in All-Star Game.

The American League started off the All-Star Game series as the dominant league, and that's no surprise considering it had stars like Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams. However, the National League turned things around in the 1950's and dominated the series completely in the 1960s and '70s. 

The National League went on a 19-1 run from 1963 through 1982, as players like Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Roberto Clemente, Johnny Bench and Pete Rose were simply better than their American League counterparts. They also had a huge edge on the mound with pitchers that included Warren Spahn, Juan Marichal, Bob Gibson, Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale and Ferguson Jenkins.

If the talent gap didn't tell the whole story, it was a player like Rose, who left everything on the field in each game. He would also implore his National League teammates to not let their American League opponents win even a single game.

The American League finally turned it around in 1983 with an overpowering 13-3 win at Comiskey Park in Chicago. The turning point came in the third inning when Fred Lynn of the California Angels hit the first, and to this point, only Grand Slam in the history of the All-Star Game. It was as if a poisonous boil had been lanced, and the American League finally got healthy.

In addition to the historical aspect of the All-Star Game, much of the focus will be on Washington's Bryce Harper and Max Scherzer. 

Both are stars for the Nationals, and while Scherzer is having a stellar season with an 11-5 record, a 2.33 earned-run average and 177 strikeouts in 127.2 innings, Harper has not been having the dominant season he had hoped for as he prepares for potential free agency.

Scherzer has a good chance of being named the National League's starting pitcher by team manager Dave Roberts. Harper was voted into the starting lineup by the fans, and he would like nothing better than to put on a show for the Washington fans and the national TV audience. 

Harper has a .213/.367/.473 slash line, but he has hit 23 home runs and driven in 53 runs. He will be under the spotlight, and a strong performance in the All-Star Game could help get his season on track.

It should also be a big night for Mike Trout, as he comes into this game largely considered the best player in Major League Baseball. Trout has already won two All-Star Game Most Valuable Player awards.

Trout has a .314/.457/.618 slash line with 25 home runs and 50 RBI. Since the Angels are far behind in the American League West race, Trout does not seem to be getting the publicity he has earned. Another stellar All-Star Game could be on the horizon.

The All-Star Game often comes down to the final innings, and that means that the reserves may play a decisive role in the outcome. 

Key National League reserves include Cincinnati's Joey Votto and Scooter Gennett, Atlanta's Ozzie Albies, Milwaukee's Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich and Colorado's Charlie Blackmon.

The most impactful American League reserves include Francisco Lindor of the Indians, Alex Bregman and George Springer of the Astros and Mitch Haniger and Nelson Cruz of the Mariners.

Late inning closers Kenley Jansen of the Dodgers and Brad Hand of the Padres will try to protect a late lead for the National League, while Craig Kimbrel of the Red Sox, Aroldis Chapman of the Yankees and Blake Treinen of the A's will attempt to do the same for the American League.

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