As the All-Star Game approaches, our writers break down the biggest storylines developing so far.
What are your thoughts on the Cubs’ entire infield starting for the NL in the All-Star Game?
Kyle May: Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant are both worthy of starting at the corner infield spots. However, there are certainly better options than Addison Russell and Ben Zobrist in the middle infield. Corey Seager should be the starter over Addison Russell at shortstop and Daniel Murphy should be the starter over Ben Zobrist at second base, but that is a result of fan voting.
Daniel Satter: I do not agree with the way the MLB handles the All-Star voting when first, last year the Royals infield and outfield were supposed to start, but the MLB stepped in and said that it was not fair to others, well that is the same thing this year with the Cubs, but it’s the Cubs, so the MLB will not step in. Russell should not be in the All-Star game and Corey Seager deserves to start for the National League, and Daniel Murphy is the best second baseman in the National League without question. Rizzo and Bryant do deserve to start, as they are the best duo in the corner of the infield in all of baseball.
Jim Tsapelas: I am fundamentally opposed to the fans voting for the starting team representatives for the ASG. I believe the starting nine should be picked by the MLB managers and coaches. In 1963, the St. Louis Cardinals had starters at all of the infield positions. Ken Boyer (3b), Dick Groat (ss) Julian Javier (2b), and Bill White (1b). Bill Mazeroski was selected as the starting second baseman. Mazeroski was injured. NL Manager, Al Dark, selected Javier as a replacement. The MLB managers and coaches selected the ASG teams at that time. With the Cubs having five starters and two pitchers in the ASG, the Central Division has both a huge presence and also a diminished presence. Seven players from one team, may have forced Manager Terry Collins to limit the other four NL Central teams to just one representative each; thus omitting some NLCD players who may be worthy of an ASG nod.
Adam Tenenbaum: I am okay with the selections with exception for young shortstop, Addison Russell. He does not deserve to be an all-star, let alone starting. That said, Rizzo and Bryant are worthy starters and Zobrist is an all-star, but personally would have started Daniel Murphy over him.
Joey Segur: I feel that there are more players in the NL who are worthy to start in the All-Star game. With that said, I’ve always felt the voting system is based on a popularity vote. My biggest problem with the starting line up is the fact that Corey Seager isn’t starting. A player who will most likely walk away with Rookie Of The Year should be in the starting lineup.
Who has your vote for the AL and NL All-Star Game Final Votes, respectively?
Kyle May: In the AL, my final vote goes to Dustin Pedroia, who is hitting .306 with 8 homeruns and 34 RBIs. In the NL, my final vote goes to Starling Marte, who is hitting .321 with 6 homeruns and 31 RBIs.
Daniel Satter: Evan Longoria gets my final vote, as he has bounced back to All-Star form, plus if it was not for him, the Rays would never be in a competitive form throughout the early part of the season. Jake Lamb gets my final vote, as he has shocked many people by hitting well on the average and power side.
Jim Tsapelas: NL-Starling Marte is one of the best overall players in the NL at this time. His twenty-four stolen bases as of 7/5, adds a dimension of speed to his good offensive numbers. AL-George Springer. Springer could break open a close game with one simple swing of the bat.
Adam Tenenbaum: In the American League, I would have to say Ian Kinsler. He is the best all-around player of the choices. In the NL, my vote would be Trevor Story.
Joey Segur: I would vote for Michael Saunders in the AL All-Star game final vote. He has really turned a corner with the Jays. NL I would say Starling Marte.
Who should be the two starting pitchers in the All-Star Game?
Kyle May: I think that the pitching matchup should be Chris Sale (14-2, 2.93 ERA) versus Jake Arrieta (12-3, 2.33 ERA).
Daniel Satter: Jake Arrieta should get the nod for the National League, as he has been lights out, plus Chris Sale is getting my vote, as he was the hottest pitcher throughout the early part of the season and being able to maintain strong outings.
Jim Tsapelas: AL- Chris Sale, arguably one of the better pitchers in the MLB at this particular point in time. NL- Stephen Strasburg.
Adam Tenenbaum: In the AL, I have to go with Danny Salazar. He currently leads the AL in ERA and would be very deserving. In the National League, my pick is Stephen Strasburg. He is putting together a solid season and as a native of San Diego, it would be great to see him to start.
Joey Segur: Danny Salazar has been above consistent this season and has the chance to snag the Cy Young, for the NL how could you not want Stephen Strasburg to start a game for you this season.
What eight players (four AL, four NL) would you like to see in the Homerun Derby?
Kyle May: AL- Mike Trout, Mark Trumbo, Josh Donaldson, David Ortiz
NL- Kris Bryant, Bryce Harper, Yoenis Cespedes, Carlos Gonzalez
Daniel Satter: AL- Mark Trumbo, David Ortiz, Chris Davis, Mike Trout
NL- Kris Bryant, Wil Myers, Bryce Harper, Corey Seager
Jim Tsapelas: AL- David Ortiz, Mike Trout, Mark Trumbo, Josh Donaldson
NL – Kris Bryant, Bryce Harper, Yoenis Cespedes, Carlos Gonzalez
Adam Tenenbaum: AL- David Ortiz, Mark Trumbo, Edwin Encarnacion, Robinson Cano
NL- Anthony Rizzo, Bryce Harper, Nolan Arenado, Yoenis Cespedes
Joey Segur: AL- Mark Trumbo, Carlos Beltran, David Ortiz, Robinson Cano
NL- Madison Bumgarner, Kris Bryant, Corey Seager, Adam Duvall
Give your All-Star Game prediction, as well as a MVP.
Kyle May: I think that the American League will come away with a 5-2 victory and Mike Trout will take home the MVP honors yet again.
Daniel Satter: The American League will win 7-4 with Alex Colome closing out the game. Chris Sale wins the striking out seven batters in at least three innings without giving up two runs. Daniel Murphy hits a towering two-run shot to take an early 2-0 lead off of Steven Wright.
Jim Tsapelas: The American League will enjoy a 6-4 victory. Mike Trout, MVP.
Adam Tenenbaum: The American League wins 7-3. Trout MVP.
Joey Segur: The National League caps off a 8-6 victory with a two-run homerun by Madison Bumgarner and Corey Seager takes home the MVP.