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2018 MLB All-Star Game Roster: Projecting Starting Lineups for Midsummer Classic

Steve Silverman@@profootballboyFeatured ColumnistJuly 16, 2018

Jose Altuve has an excellent chance to light the fuse for the powerful American League lineup.
Jose Altuve has an excellent chance to light the fuse for the powerful American League lineup.David J. Phillip/Associated Press

The MLB All-Star Game may be a glorified exhibition in the eyes of many observers, but once the players step out of their dugouts and across the white lines, they are playing for their legacy and history.

It may not determine home-field advantage in the World Series any longer, but the game's all-time best have helped cement their reputations with starring performances in the All-Star Game, and today's players have a chance to do the same thing.

Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels already knows this as he has already won the All-Star Game MVP award twice in his career. Since the Angels have only been to the to the postseason once during his tenure (Division Series vs. Kansas City in 2014), this is his best chance to show baseball fans what he can do on a grand scale.

His performance can help cement a reputation that many believe makes him the best player in the game and comparable to the legendary Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle on a historical level.

National League manager Dave Roberts has a chance to help the National League turn things around in the All-Star Game.
National League manager Dave Roberts has a chance to help the National League turn things around in the All-Star Game.Gregory Bull/Associated Press

It's also an opportunity for Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch and Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts to resume their battle. Hinch led the Astros to a seven-game victory over Roberts and the Dodgers in last year's World Series, and they are the managers of their respective leagues in this game. Neither manager wants to make the mistake that costs his league a chance at victory.

The game will be played at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., but the American League is designated as the home team because this is the fourth straight year that a National League city served as the venue for the Midsummer Classic. Two years ago, the American League was the home team even though the game was played in San Diego.

      

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 (Designated as starter after Ramos injury.)

Yan Gomes, C, Cleveland

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*

Charlie Morton, Houston

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

   

Pitchers

Patrick Corbin, Arizona

Zack Greinke, Arizona

Jacob deGrom, New York Mets

Sean Doolittle, Washington*

Mike Foltynewicz, Atlanta

Josh Hader, Milwaukee

Jason Jeffress, 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 

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

       

Here's how the starting lineups should look for both teams, along with an explanation.

American League

1. Jose Altuve, 2B

2. Mookie Betts, LF

3. Mike Trout, CF

4. Manny Machado, SS

5. Jose Ramirez, 3B

6. J.D. Martinez, DH

7. Aaron Judge, RF

8. Jose Abreu, 1B

9. Sal Perez, C 

Chris Sale, P

Altuve is a sensational igniter and could get the American League started with a blast, while Betts is a sensational hitter who is having a brilliant year.

Trout deserves the position of honor in the No. 3 hole, while Machado can carry any lineup from the No. 4 position.

Ramirez is in the No. 5 spot ahead of the slugging Martinez because that allows the switch-hitter to break up the string of right-handed hitters.

Judge follows at No. 7, and he is in right field because Betts can make the switch to left field much easier than the Yankees slugger.

Abreu is a fine hitter, but it's hard to see him above this spot given the strength of the rest of the lineup. Perez gets the start at catcher because of the Wilson Ramos injury.

Sale is a brilliant pitcher who is on one of the best streaks of his career.

       

National League

1. Freddie Freeman, 1B

2. Nick Markakis, LF

3. Javier Baez, 2B

4. Nolan Arenado, 3B

5. Matt Kemp, RF

6. Jesus Aguilar, DH

7. Willson Contreras, C

8. Bryce Harper, CF

9. Brandon Crawford

Max Scherzer, P

Freeman gives the National League a professional and classy hitter at the top of the lineup, and his teammate Markakis has been lashing line drives all season.

The talented and ego-driven Baez will appreciate his insertion in the No. 3 hole, and he has the best chance of any National Leaguer of leading his team to a victory.

Arenado is a powerful clean-up hitter, and the back-to-back placement of Kemp and Aguilar could be formidable.

Contreras is likely to be in the NL starting lineup for years to come because he is just coming into his own. Harper is saved the embarrassment of batting last, while Crawford has a chance to make the most of his opportunity.

Scherzer will let it fly against the American League stars, and he will hope to register a slew of strikeouts against that powerful lineup.  

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