The Midsummer Classic is still the main draw

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of all the festivities during All-Star week.Many young fans get turned on by the home run hitting contest and the distances players like Bryce Harper and Kyle Schwarber can hit the ball. Hard-core fans watch every pitch of the Futures Game with a scout's eye in order to get a view of the players who are likely to become the game's stars in the next three-to-five years.But while interleague play http://www.oriolesfanproshop.com/authentic-j.j.-hardy-jersey , free agency and the frequency of seeing the game's great stars on television may have taken some of the mystery out of the All-Star Game, there's still something fascinating about seeing the sport's best players line up against each other while representing their leagues.The American League comes into the 89th All-Star Game at Nationals Park in Washington D.C. riding a five-game winning streak and having put together a run of 23-6-1 over the last 30 years. That hot streak enabled the American League to tie the all-time series at 43-43-2 last year, and a win Tuesday night will give the AL the lead in the series for the first time since 1963.Chris Sale of the Boston Red Sox will take the mound for the Junior Circuit for the third straight year, while Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals will start for the second year in a row and the third time in his career.American League manager A.J. Hinch of the Houston Astros and National League manager Dave Roberts of the Los Angeles Dodgers announced their starting lineups Monday.Javier Baez of the Cubs could be a sparkplug for the National League.Patrick Smith/Getty ImagesNational League Lineup1. Javier Baez, 2B, Cubs2. Nolan Arenado, 3B, Rockies3. Paul Goldschmidt, DH, D-backs4. Freddie Freeman, 1B, Braves5. Matt Kemp, LF, Dodgers6. Bryce Harper, CF, Nationals7. Nick Markakis, RF, Braves8. Brandon Crawford, SS, Giants9. Willson Contreras, C, CubsMax Scherzer, P, NationalsAmerican League Lineup1. Mookie Betts, RF, Red Sox2. Jose Altuve, 2B, Astros3. Mike Trout, CF, Angels4. J.D. Martinez, DH, Red Sox5. Jose Ramirez, 3B, Indians6. Aaron Judge, LF, Yankees7. Manny Machado, SS, Orioles8. Jose Abreu, 1B, White Sox9. Salvador Perez, C, RoyalsChris Sale, P, Red SoxHere's a look at some information ahead of the game and the full rosters for both teams.2018 MLB All-Star GameDate: Tuesday http://www.oriolesfanproshop.com/authentic-j.j.-hardy-jersey , July 17Time: 8 p.m. ETTV: FoxJose Ramirez (left) and Jose Altuve are a dynamic duo for the American League.Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty ImagesRostersAmerican LeagueStartersWilson Ramos. C, Tampa Bay*Jose Abreu, 1B. Chicago White SoxJose Altuve. 2B, HoustonJose Ramirez, 3B, ClevelandManny Machado, SS, BaltimoreMike Trout, OF, Los Angeles AngelsAaron Judge, OF, New York YankeesMookie Betts, OF, BostonJ.D. Martinez, OF, BostonAmerican League ReservesSalvador Perez, C, Kansas City (designated as a starter after Ramos injury)Yan Gomes, C, ClevelandMitch Moreland, 1B, BostonJed Lowrie, 2B, OaklandGleyber Torres, 2B, New York Yankees*Alex Bregman, 3B, HoustonFrancisco Lindor, SS, ClevelandJean Segura, SS, SeattleMichael Brantley, OF, ClevelandShin-Soo Choo, OF, TexasMitch Haniger, OF, SeattleGeorge Springer, OF, HoustonNelson Cruz, DH, SeattleAmerican League PitchersTrevor Bauer, ClevelandJose Berrios, MinnesotaAroldis Chapman Jonathan Schoop Jersey , New York Yankees*Gerrit Cole, HoustonEdwin Diaz, SeattleJ.A. Happ, TorontoJoe Jimenez, DetroitCraig Kimbrel, BostonCorey Kluber, Cleveland*Charlie Morton, HoustonChris Sale, BostonLuis Severino, New York YankeesBlake Treinen, OaklandJustin Verlander, Detroit*National League StartersWillson Contreras, C, Chicago CubsFreddie Freeman, 1B, AtlantaJavier Baez, 2B, Chicago CubsNolan Arenado, 3B, ColoradoBrandon Crawford, SS, San FranciscoNick Markakis, OF, AtlantaMatt Kemp, OF, Los Angeles DodgersBryce Harper, OF, WashingtonNational League ReservesYadier Molina, C, St. LouisBuster Posey, C, San Francisco*J.T. Realmuto, C, MiamiJesus Aguilar, 1B, MilwaukeePaul Goldschmidt, 1B, ArizonaJoey Votto, 1B, CincinnatiOzzie Albies, 2B, AtlantaScooter Gennett, 2B, CincinnatiEugenio Suarez http://www.oriolesfanproshop.com/authentic-j.j.-hardy-jersey , 3B, CincinnatiTrevor Story, SS, ColoradoCharlie Blackmon, OF, ColoradoLorenzo Cain, OF, MilwaukeeChristian Yelich, OF, MilwaukeeNational League PitchersPatrick Corbin, ArizonaZack Greinke, ArizonaJacob deGrom, New York MetsSean Doolittle, Washington*Mike Foltynewicz, AtlantaJosh Hader, MilwaukeeJason Jeffress, MilwaukeeBrad Hand, San DiegoKenley Jansen, Los Angeles DodgersJon Lester, Chicago Cubs*Miles Mikolas, St. Louis*Aaron Nola, PhiladelphiaMax Scherzer, WashingtonRoss Stripling, Los Angeles DodgersFelipe Vazquez, Pittsburgh*-denotes player won't be participating in All-Star Game.On the surface, it looks like the American League has the advantage once again based on both the starting lineup and the reserves coming off the bench.Betts (.359/.448/.691) is having a spectacular season and could easily ignite the American League with an extra-base hit. Altuve (.332/.394/.470) is the defending MVP and is never intimidated. Trout (.310/.454/.606) is almost certainly the best all-around player on the planet.Yes, that's a formidable top of the lineup, but Scherzer is not the type to back down from any challenge. He said last week during an interview with the MLB Network that he is not planning to hold back and that he plans to fire for "a couple of innings" if Roberts plans to use him that long.The question of great pitching vs. great hitting will once again be tested.Sale has been on one of the hottest streaks of his career, as he has struck out 11 or more batters while walking one batter or fewer in his last five starts for the Red Sox.Since the American League is designated as the home team though the game is in a National League city has a chance to set the tone against Baez, Arenado and Goldschmidt.Baez (19 home runs, 72 runs batted in) will usually take on an all-or-nothing attitude quite often when he is at the plate, but since he is leading off the game, he may just take what the defense gives him. He is a free swinger who hardly ever walks.Arenado (23 homers, 68 RBI) is an exceptional hitter while Goldschmidt (21 homers, 52 RBI) has been hot in recent weeks. Still, it would be a surprise if the National League does any real damage against Sale.The American League is a minus-130 favorite, according to OddsShark, while the National League is a plus-110 underdog. A bettor taking the American League would risk $130 to win $100, while a National League supporter bets $100 to win $110. PredictionsThe belief here is that Scherzer and Sale will do their jobs quite well, and so will deGrom and Severino, who are likely to follow the starters for their respective leagues.However, the rest of the pitchers may have to face reality. In particular, we see the next wave of NL pitchers having problems with Betts, Martinez Darren O'Day Jersey , Trout, Ramirez and Machado among the starters.When the American League brings Lindor, Bregman, Springer and Cruz off the bench, it will have the opportunity to score quite a bit.The National League will take its cues from Arenado, Goldschmidt and Freeman, but that won't be enough. Votto, Aguilar and Cain are solid coming off the bench, but they may have a hard time producing like their American League counterparts.We like the American League to make it six wins in a row and take the all-time lead in the series, but the NL has one wild card. If Baez gets off to a brilliant start, hits a long ball and makes one or two of his classic plays in the field, it would not be a shocker if the Senior Circuit steals a win. OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Khris Davis led the majors in home runs, led the Oakland Athletics back to the playoffs for the first time in four years then received a $6 million raise this offseason for a 2019 salary of $16.5 million.Next up could be a long-term extension, if that is Davis’ top priority. It might not be. He put personal accolades aside last season, more determined to get his team to the playoffs for the first time since 2014.Davis is the top slugger in a power-hitting lineup that surprised much of baseball with a run to the AL wild-card game and a loss to the Yankees.“We never put sort of guidelines or deadlines on something like that,” general manager David Forst said. “We have continued that conversation and certainly through spring training we’re open to it. It’s open to the player if they want to continue into the season, but it continues to be an ongoing conversation.”Davis hit a majors-best 48 home runs while setting a career high with 123 RBIs. The 31-year-old Davis received a $10.5 million, one-year contract last January to more than double his salary after he beat the team in arbitration the previous winter.Davis and Jimmie Foxx from 1932-34 are the only players in Athletics history with three straight 40-homer seasons. Davis’ 85 homers in 2017-18 were second during that two-year span in the majors only to Giancarlo Stanton’s 86.Oakland will try to build off a 97-win season in which the A’s had a knack for late-game rallies and walkoff wins.“We were able to, through confidence, create the success, and now we have that kind of confidence to go into the season,” said AL Manager of the Year Bob Melvin. “We’ve turned a corner as a team and everybody’s excited about getting back to spring training because we feel like we can do similar things that we did last year.”Here are some things to watch for this spring with the
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