2021 MLB All-Star Game Roster: Projecting Starting Lineups for Midsummer Classic

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJuly 12, 2021

2021 MLB All-Star Game Roster: Projecting Starting Lineups for Midsummer Classic

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    The depth of star power on the American and National League rosters for the 2021 MLB All-Star Game gives both managers plenty of lineup configuration options.

    Shohei Ohtani and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. will likely reside in the heart of the AL order, but after that, the potential combinations are endless.

    The NL should have Fernando Tatis Jr. as its centerpiece after the unfortunate ACL tear Ronald Acuna Jr. suffered Saturday.

    Acuna's injury and the presence of Buster Posey and Mike Trout on the 10-day injured list mean a few new starters have to be named.

    Replacements for Acuna and Posey are needed in the NL lineup, while the AL needs to promote one of its reserve outfielders.

American League

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    1. Marcus Semien, 2B, Toronto

    2. Shohei Ohtani, DH, Los Angeles Angels

    3. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 1B, Toronto

    4. Aaron Judge, OF, New York Yankees

    5. Xander Bogaerts, SS, Boston

    6. Rafael Devers, 3B, Boston

    7. Salvador Perez, C, Kansas City

    8. Teoscar Hernandez, OF, Toronto

    9. Cedric Mullins, OF, Baltimore


    Shohei Ohtani should be guaranteed to hit in the first inning.

    The Los Angeles Angels superstar is the biggest name in baseball, and he deserves to be showcased right away.

    Ohtani typically bats in the No. 2 hole for the Angels, so that seems like the natural fit between a pair of Toronto Blue Jays players.

    Marcus Semien has hit leadoff for the Blue Jays all season, so he seems like a good option to either start at the top or turn around the order at No. 9.

    Cedric Mullins should get Trout's spot in the starting lineup. Although the Baltimore Orioles have not had a great season, the outfielder has been fantastic.

    Mullins is seventh in the majors in batting average, and he is fourth in hits behind Guerrero, Nick Castellanos and Trea Turner.

    Boston's duo of Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers are used to hitting in the middle of the order, which makes them natural fits beneath the three top power hitters.

    Salvador Perez and Teoscar Hernandez should reside in the bottom third to allow the power hitters to be up top and for Mullins to start a rally in the third inning.

National League

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    1. Adam Frazier, 2B, Pittsburgh

    2. Jesse Winker, OF, Cincinnati

    3. Fernando Tatis Jr., SS, San Diego

    4. Freddie Freeman, 1B, Atlanta

    5. Nick Castellanos, OF, Cincinnati

    6. Nolan Arenado, 3B, St. Louis

    7. Juan Soto, OF, Washington

    8. Justin Turner, DH, Los Angeles Dodgers

    9. J.T. Realmuto, C, Philadelphia


    NL manager Dave Roberts has the unenviable task of making three crucial decisions about his starting lineup in a short amount of time.

    Acuna likely would have been the leadoff hitter for the NL, but now Adam Frazier should be the front-runner for that role. The Pittsburgh second baseman leads the majors with 115 hits and is third in batting average behind Guerrero and Castellanos.

    Frazier's ability to get on base should help the power hitters beneath him drive in some runs in the first inning, no matter who is on the mound for the AL.

    Jesse Winker, Tatis, Freddie Freeman and Castellanos make up a solid core in the heart of the order. Nolan Arenado could be switched with any one of them, but no matter which way you put it, the NL has depth in power after Frazier.

    The bottom third is tricky to figure out because of the replacements for Acuna and Posey and the naming of a designated hitter.

    J.T. Realmuto should get the nod over Omar Narvaez at catcher. Yadier Molina was voted in after Posey pulled out, but then he could not make the All-Star Game.

    With Mookie Betts and Kyle Schwarber unavailable, Juan Soto seems like a solid choice to replace Acuna in the starting nine.

    Soto is one of the young stars of the game and brings extra pop to the bottom part of the order, which could give the NL an early edge on the scoreboard.

    The designated hitter will likely be an infielder. After Manny Machado's inclusion, the NL has nine infielders available.

    Justin Turner would be a solid pick by Roberts to reward the Dodgers for their 56-win start. Sure, it would seem like a biased pick, but Turner brings plenty of experience to the lineup, and it would allow the younger infielders to play the field while he has a fairly easy Tuesday at the plate.