By: Jason M. Sanin
With the Major League Baseball season nearing its half way point, the league’s best players are gearing up to participate in the annual All Star Game. With fans voting for the starters, and members of the league selecting the reserves, both the American League and National League All Stars have been selected, and baseball betting experts now know who will be featured in baseball’s midsummer showcase.
Starters for the American League are not who you would expect based on the traditional outcome of All Star Game voting. However, an impassioned campaign by Kansas City Royals fans has had a huge impact on who will be participating in the game.
Royals fans, who saw their team qualify for the World Series last season, voted in four players to start in the game. Those four players are catcher Salvador Perez, shortstop Alcides Escobar, and outfielders Alex Gordon and Lorenzo Cain. At one point, Royals fans had voted in such great numbers that eight starting spots were claimed by Royals players before other choices caught up.
The other four starting position players for the American League are the Angels’ Mike Trout in the outfield, Toronto’s Josh Donaldson at third base, Houston’s Jose Altuve at second base, and Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera at first base. Cabrera is currently injured, and will be replaced, but the rest of the American League squad looks strong heading into this game for home field advantage in the World Series.
One notable player who missed the cut was New York’s Alex Rodriguez, who is enjoying a strong season after missing all of last year due to a suspension for his role in baseball’s Biogenesis scandal.
On the National League side, things were much more balanced as far as the teams from which players were selected was concerned. Overall, six different teams were represented in the National League’s starting lineup, with the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals each getting two players each, making them the only teams to get multiple players in the starting lineup.
But it was Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals who received the highest number of votes in the National League, who will represent his league in the outfield in the All Star Game. Harper is joined by San Francisco’s Buster Posey at catcher, Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt at first base, Miami’s Dee Gordon at second base, Cincinnati’s Todd Frazier at third base, St. Louis’ Jhonny Peralta at shortstop, Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton in the outfield, as well as St. Louis’ Matt Holliday in the outfield. Stanton will also be replaced due to injury, but deserves to be mentioned as a starter as he won the fan vote at his position.
Of course, the league that wins Major League Baseball’s All Star Game is rewarded with home field advantage in the World Series for whichever team wins that league. This means that baseball tipsters can expect every player involved in the game to give it their all, as helping their team to victory has the potential to directly benefit them should their club reach the World Series at the end of the year.