The biggest superstars, young prospects and surprises from the 2018 Major League Baseball season converge on Nationals Park Tuesday for the 2018 MLB All-Star Game.
Thirty-two players will represent the American and National Leagues in the 89th edition of the All-Star Game, but there have been plenty of alterations made to the squads since the rosters were unveiled July 8.
The players who opted out of the All-Star Game did so due to injuries and the lack of rest for certain pitchers in between starts.
Among the replacements named in the last week were Tampa Bay's Blake Snell, who was regarded as one of the biggest All-Star Game snubs, Cleveland catcher Yan Gomes and Milwaukee pitcher Jeremy Jeffress.
The All-Star Game, which begins at 8 p.m. ET on Fox, is in its second year of a new format in which the winning league doesn't achieve home-field advantage in the World Series.
The rosters have an intriguing combination of players, and in some cases, it gives teammates a chance to take the field in the Midsummer Classic at the same time.
Astros, Indians Lead MLB With Most All-Stars
Two of the three division leaders in the American League possess the most All-Stars on the edited rosters.
The Houston Astros and Cleveland Indians are represented by six players, while the Boston Red Sox, who have the best record in baseball, have five.
The Astros are represented in the starting lineup by second baseman Jose Altuve, while third baseman Alex Bregman and outfielder George Springer were named as reserves.
Pitchers Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole were originally named to the AL roster, while Charlie Morton was added as an injury replacement for Aroldis Chapman.
Putting six players on the All-Star Game roster is one of the many impressive achievements earned by the Astros, who have the best record of a defending champion at the All-Star break since the 2006 Chicago White Sox, per ESPN Stats & Info:
Cleveland holds the largest advantage in any of the AL division races, as it leads the Minnesota Twins by 7.5 games, and its number of All-Stars moved up to six, as Yan Gomes was announced as a replacement for Tampa Bay's Wilson Ramos.
Gomes found out about his All-Star nod while walking to the plate in the ninth inning of Saturday's game against the New York Yankees.
Gomes joins starting third baseman Jose Ramirez, shortstop Francisco Lindor, outfielder Michael Brantley and pitchers Trevor Bauer and Corey Kluber as Indians representatives, giving the franchise the most All-Stars it's had since 1999, per Zack Meisel of The Athletic.
Both teams are more than deserving of earning the most All-Stars, and if it wasn't for Morton and Gomes being added as replacements, the Astros and Indians would be tied with the Red Sox for most representatives on the AL roster.
Brewers Possess Most All-Stars In Franchise History
The Milwaukee Brewers reaped the rewards of their remarkable first half by sending a franchise-record five players to the All-Star Game.
Originally the Brewers were set to send three players to Nationals Park, but since the roster announcement, first baseman Jesus Aguilar won the NL Final Vote and Jeffress was added as a pitching replacement.
Aguilar and Jeffress join outfielders Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain and pitcher Josh Hader, which gives the Brewers the most players from a single team on the NL roster.
Milwaukee being in possession of the most NL All-Stars is a bit surprising since it enters the All-Star break in second place in the NL Central behind the Chicago Cubs, but up until the last seven days, the Brewers were arguably the best team in the NL.
The Cubs and the Los Angeles Dodgers, who lead the NL West, have three players each on the senior circuit squad, while NL East leader Philadelphia is represented by one player, pitcher Aaron Nola.
Even though the Brewers struggled through a six-game losing streak before the break, they deserve the recognition for one of the most unexpected starts in recent memory.
As Fox Sports Wisconsin's Sophia Minnaert noted, there's plenty of reason to have hope in the Brewers going into the second half of the season:
In the case of the five Milwaukee All-Stars, they'll look to put the recent skid in the past, enjoy the festivities in Washington, D.C., and look to go back to winning ways once they return to their teammates.
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