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2018 MLB All-Star Game: TV Schedule, Rosters and Top Storylines to Follow

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorJuly 15, 2018

BOSTON, MA - JULY 11:  Chris Sale #41 of the Boston Red Sox pitches in the third inning of a game against the Texas Rangers at Fenway Park on July 11, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

The Major League Baseball regular season will take a pause after Sunday's games to make way for the 2018 All-Star break. It's been an interesting season symbolized by a litany of home runs, strikeouts, shift debates and a wild, top-heavy American League race. But it will come to a halt as Washington, D.C., plays host to this year's Midsummer Classic.

Here's a look at the All-Star Game television schedule, the rosters and a couple storylines to follow. All schedule and roster information is via mlb.com.

               

TV Schedule

The MLB All-Star Game will take place Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET. Fox will televise the contest, and fans can live-stream the action via Fox Sports Go. Pregame coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. ET on Fox.

                           

American League Roster

Starters

Tampa Bay Rays C Wilson Ramos

Chicago White Sox 1B Jose Abreu

Houston Astros 2B Jose Altuve

Cleveland Indians 3B Jose Ramirez

Baltimore Orioles SS Manny Machado

Los Angeles Angels OF Mike Trout

New York Yankees OF Aaron Judge

Boston Red Sox OF Mookie Betts

Boston Red Sox DH J.D. Martinez

               

Reserves 

Kansas City Royals C Salvador Perez

Boston Red Sox 1B Mitch Moreland

Oakland Athletics 2B Jed Lowrie

New York Yankees 2B Gleyber Torres

Houston Astros 3B Alex Bregman

Cleveland Indians SS Francisco Lindor

Seattle Mariners SS Jean Segura

Cleveland Indians OF Michael Brantley

Texas Rangers OF Shin-Soo Choo

Seattle Mariners OF Mitch Haniger

Houston Astros OF George Springer

Seattle Mariners DH Nelson Cruz

              

Pitchers

Cleveland Indians SP Trevor Bauer

Minnesota Twins SP Jose Berrios

New York Yankees SP Aroldis Chapman

Houston Astros SP Gerrit Cole

Seattle Mariners RP Edwin Diaz

Toronto Raptors SP J.A. Happ

Detroit Tigers RP Joe Jimenez

Boston Red Sox RP Craig Kimbrel

Cleveland Indians SP Corey Kluber

Boston Red Sox SP Chris Sale

New York Yankees SP Luis Severino

Oakland Athletics RP Blake Treinen

Houston Astros SP Justin Verlander

                   

National League 

Starters

Chicago Cubs C Willson Contreras

Atlanta Braves 1B Freddie Freeman

Chicago Cubs 2B Javier Baez

Colorado Rockies 3B Nolan Arenado

San Francisco Giants SS Brandon Crawford

Atlanta Braves OF Nick Markakis

Los Angeles Dodgers OF Matt Kemp

Washington Nationals OF Bryce Harper

               

Reserves

St. Louis Cardinals C Yadier Molina

San Francisco Giants C Buster Posey

Miami Marlins C J.T. Realmuto

Milwaukee Brewers 1B Jesus Aguilar

Arizona Diamondbacks 1B Paul Goldschmidt

Cincinnati Reds 1B Joey Votto

Atlanta Braves 2B Ozzie Albies

Cincinnati Reds 2B Scooter Gennett

Cincinnati Reds 3B Eugenio Suarez

Colorado Rockies SS Trevor Story

Colorado Rockies OF Charlie Blackmon

Milwaukee Brewers OF Lorenzo Cain

Milwaukee Brewers OF Christian Yelich

              

Pitchers

Arizona Diamondbacks SP Patrick Corbin

New York Mets SP Jacob deGrom

Washington Nationals RP Sean Doolittle

Atlanta Braves Mike Foltynewicz

Arizona Diamondbacks SP Zack Greinke

Milwaukee Brewers RP Josh Hader

San Diego Padres RP Brad Hand

Los Angeles Dodgers RP Kenley Jansen

Milwaukee Brewers RP Jeremy Jeffress

Chicago Cubs SP Jon Lester

St. Louis Cardinals SP Miles Mikolas

Philadelphia Phillies SP Aaron Nola

Washington Nationals SP Max Scherzer

Los Angeles Dodgers SP Ross Stripling

Pittsburgh Pirates RP Felipe Vazquez

Players in italics will not be participating in the All-Star Game.

          

Top Storylines

Who Will Be the Starting Pitchers?

The starting pitchers for each side have not been announced yet, but it's abundantly clear who it should be in the American League.

Boston Red Sox ace Chris Sale has been phenomenal this year: Per Fangraphs, the former Chicago White Sox star has an almost incomprehensible 37.2 percent strikeout rate alongside a 2.42 xFIP. He is also inducing soft contact at a 28.5 percent rate. Per Baseball Reference, Sale has struck out 78 batters in 48 innings over his last seven starts, and he's posted a 0.94 ERA during that span.

The other candidate may be the New York Yankees' Luis Severino, who is 14-2 with a 2.31 ERA and the anchor of a starting rotation that has been up and down this year. However, Sale has been so dominant this season (and especially of late) that it seems like he'd be the best choice.

The National League starter is a bit trickier and likely a duel between Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer and the New York Mets' Jacob deGrom. The guess here is that Scherzer is the pick given that he'll be pitching in front of his hometown crowd, but deGrom can make a great case to lead things off.

For the season, deGrom has made 19 starts and managed a 1.68 ERA. He only has five wins this year because of the lack of run support, but deGrom keeps the Mets in every game. He's only allowed more than three earned runs once, and that outing wasn't terrible: six innings, four earned runs and six strikeouts against the Miami Marlins.

However, Scherzer has been sensational this year, as he's struck out more than one-third of batters faced (34.5 percent to be exact, per Fangraphs). He limits his hard contact (31.3 percent), and he has a gaudy swinging strike rate of 16.6 percent. Scherzer hasn't been as sharp of late (10 earned runs in his last three outings), but he still sports an excellent 2.41 ERA.

        

American League Murderer's Row

Through games played on Saturday, July 14, six of the American League starters are tied for seventh place or better on MLB's 2018 home run list.

Boston Red Sox designated hitter J.D. Martinez and Cleveland Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez lead the way with 29, while Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim outfielder Mike Trout, Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor and New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge each have 25 homers. Baltimore Orioles shortshop Manny Machado and Boston Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts round the group out with 23 apiece.

Per Baseball Reference, five of those players lead the league in WAR, with Trout pacing the MLB at 6.9. Trout and Betts are one-two in on-base percentage, and Betts, Martinez and Ramirez are top three in slugging percentage. And Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve, who was last year's AL MVP, is hitting .335 this year.

The stats can go on and on, but the point is clear by now: Whoever has to pitch against this group has a tall task ahead of them, even if it's a dominant ace like Max Scherzer or Jacob deGrom. Furthermore, that starting lineup will probably get at least two plate appearances: Getting through the order unscathed once is tough enough, but doing so twice seems like a near-impossible task.

When those players take seats, however, the tough bats don't let up. Of note, Seattle Mariners designated hitter Nelson Cruz has smacked 22 home runs in 80 games, and Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman has 20 homers and a .926 OPS.

Ultimately, the AL looks dominant on paper and should have the edge going into this matchup.

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