2021 MLB All-Star Roster: Complete Lineups and Top Storylines to Watch

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJuly 9, 2021

2021 MLB All-Star Roster: Complete Lineups and Top Storylines to Watch

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    Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    The Shohei Ohtani show is about to land in Denver. 

    The Los Angeles Angels superstar made the Major League Baseball All-Star Game as a pitcher and hitter and will be the talk of the festivities at Coors Field. 

    Ohtani is the top seed in Monday's Home Run Derby, and he should be the focal point of the American League roster for Tuesday's exhibition. 

    There are plenty of other stars on both rosters, including Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Fernando Tatis Jr., but none of them have captured the attention of baseball fans the way Ohtani has over the last few months. 

    Ohtani, Guerrero and Tatis were all voted in as starters. The reserves were named on Sunday, but that list of players is ever changing. 

    Jacob deGrom, Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa are among the players who were selected for the two rosters who will not make the trip to Denver. 

    The full rosters can be found here on the MLB website. They will be subject to change as replacements are named. 

What Will Shohei Ohtani Do?

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    Michael Owens/Getty Images

    Baseball fans wake up every day and ask: "What will Shohei Ohtani do next to impress us?" 

    Ohtani has answered the call almost every time he stepped on the diamond during the first half of the season. 

    Through 81 games, Ohtani has the league lead of 32 home runs, and he also has 69 RBI. He is one of three players with an OPS over 1.000 at 1.064. Tatis and Guerrero have a better OPS than the Angels star. 

    As a pitcher, the Japanese superstar is 4-1 with a 3.49 ERA, 87 strikeouts and a .195 batting average against. 

    We know Ohtani will start the game in the AL lineup, but there is a question about his credentials to start the All-Star Game as a pitcher. 

    Ohtani is not listed as a starter for the Angels' three-game set with the Seattle Mariners. He last pitched on Tuesday, so in theory, he would be able to throw on full rest in Denver. 

    With Shane Bieber on the injured list and Gerrit Cole's results decreasing over the last few weeks, Ohtani could be viewed as the favorite to start on the mound for the AL.

    Lance Lynn, Carlos Rodon, Kyle Gibson, Nathan Eovaldi and Yusei Kikuchi are the other starting pitchers on the AL roster. 

    None of those pitchers is scheduled to start on Friday, Saturday or Sunday, so that makes the decision more difficult. 

    Even if Ohtani does not start at pitcher, he should appear in the first four or five innings. It would make sense for the AL to use him on the mound in the same frame of innings that he is in the lineup.

How Many Runs Will Be Scored?

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    Derrick Tuskan/Associated Press

    Coors Field and offense have been married together in baseball word association for decades. 

    Fans want to see offensive fireworks in general at the All-Star Game because it is an exhibition, but the expectations should be higher with the contest played at altitude.

    When the All-Star Game was played in Denver in 1998, the American League won 13-8. Alex Rodriguez, Roberto Alomar and Barry Bonds hit home runs in that contest. 

    In that game, Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Glavine was touched up for four earned runs, and Bonds hit his home run off Roger Clemens. 

    Even the best pitchers in the 2021 edition of the Midsummer Classic will not be immune to a long-distance home run or two at Coors Field. 

    With Ohtani, Guerrero and Aaron Judge in the AL lineup and Tatis, Ronald Acuna Jr. and Nolan Arenado among the starters, we could see fireworks early and often.

    If you are looking for a Most Valuable Player outside of Ohtani, Arenado could be the best bet. He will be playing at Coors Field for the second time since he was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals. 

    Arenado already got the coming home jitters out during St. Louis' recent trip to Denver. That could help him play looser and deliver a strong offensive performance among the many superstars of the game.