Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game, otherwise known as the Midsummer Classic, is Tuesday night from Cleveland and the Blue Jays won’t be represented.
The game is a pick’em on the Sports Interaction odds with a total of 8.5 runs.
No Blue Jays Playing In Game
Every team is originally guaranteed at least one All-Star, and Toronto’s lone selection this year was starting pitcher Marcus Stroman. However, he’s a little banged up (pectoral muscle) and will not pitch Tuesday night. The Jays realistically didn’t have anyone worthy of replacing Stroman as it had to be another pitcher, and he was replaced by the Yankees’ Masahiro Tanaka. It’s quite likely that the Jays are being ultra-cautious on Stroman because he’s their biggest trade chip ahead of the July 31 trade deadline. He might have already pitched his last game in a Jays uniform. Stroman reportedly will travel to Cleveland and take part in festivities but won’t get in the game.
The All-Star teams are managed by the managers of the previous year’s pennant winners, so that’s the Red Sox’s Alex Cora for the American League and Dodgers’ Dave Roberts for the Senior Circuit. There will be a designated hitter used in the game, and the AL is the home team because it’s played at the home of the Cleveland Indians. The winning league of the All-Star Game no longer gets home-field advantage in the World Series.
The past two All-Star Games have gone to extra innings, and MLB doesn’t want a debacle like what happened in 2002 in Milwaukee when the game was called a tie after 11 innings because both sides ran out of pitchers. This year, MLB has instituted a new rule if the game goes to extras: Every extra inning — top half and bottom — begins with an automatic runner at second. This is already used in the minors and some international tournaments. Some want it instituted for the MLB regular season, too, to avoid those 18-inning marathons, but Commissioner Rob Manfred has said he doesn’t see that happening anytime soon.
Junior Circuit Holds Small Odds Edge
The American League leads the National League 44-43-2, taking the series lead for the first time since 1963 last year with an 8-6 victory in 10 innings at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. Houston third baseman Alex Bregman was the MVP – the only player to repeat as All-Star Game MVP is the Angels’ Mike Trout, who starts again for the Junior Circuit and is the betting favourite to win a record third ASG MVP Award. The only other players to win it twice are Cal Ripken Jr., Gary Carter, Steve Garvey and Willie Mays. No Blue Jays player has won it. Carter won his two while playing for the Expos.
Every year there are guys replaced due to injuries, and there are a handful of those in 2019 along with Stroman. Three-time Cy Young winner Max Scherzer of the Nationals has been replaced. There is one Canadian player in the game: Braves rookie pitcher Mike Soroka is from Calgary.
As of this writing, Cora hasn’t named his starting pitcher but it really doesn’t matter as the starters almost surely won’t go more than two innings – most pitchers after him will go just one. Roberts has named his own guy as the NL starter in Dodgers lefty and MLB ERA leader Hyun-Jin Ryu. The Houston Astros have the most All-Stars with six: Bregman and outfielders George Springer and Michael Brantley will start, and the team also is represented by pitchers Justin Verlander (he’s the most likely guy to start), Gerrit Cole and Ryan Pressly.
2019 MLB All-Star Game Prediction
American League 4, National League 3