The 92nd version of Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game takes place this evening at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. This will mark the fourth time that the Dodgers have hosted the Midsummer Classic, the second at Dodger Stadium which also served as the site of the 1980 game.
19 players were selected as MLB All-Stars this year, 11 for the National League and eight for the American League squad. Included in that group are Alejandro Kirk of the Toronto Blue Jays, who will start behind the plate for the AL, and Jazz Chisholm Jr.of the Miami Marlins, who was voted to start at second base for the NL but will miss the game due to injury.
Here is a look at the starting lineups as announced on Monday:
Starting on the mound for the National League will be left-hander Clayton Kershaw of the hometown Dodgers. The 34-year-old is an All-Star for the ninth time in his 15- year career. Kershaw, a surefire future Hall of Famer, has won three NL Cy Young Awards and was the 2014 National League Most Valuable Player.
Drawing the starting pitching assignment for the American League is a player at the farthest end of the experience scale from Kershaw, 25-year-old Shane McClanahan of the Tampa Bay Rays. The southpaw is in just his second big-league campaign and has become the leading contender for AL Cy Young honors at this point.
Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels was selected as an AL outfield starter for the 10th time, most among any of the regular selectees. However, Trout will miss the game as he nurses a bad back that kept him out of the Halos lineup for much of last week’s action.
I say “regular selectees” because there are two players, one on each team, who have more All-Star experience. As special “Commissioner’s selections,” Albert Pujols with the NL will be appearing in his 11th All-Star Game while Miguel Cabrera with the AL will be getting his 12th All-Star honors.
In naming two of the greatest players of the last two decades, Manfred released the following statement:
“I am delighted that Albert Pujols and Miguel Cabrera have agreed to participate in the All-Star Game. Albert and Miguel are two of the most accomplished players of their generation. They have also represented the baseball traditions of the Dominican Republic and Venezuela with excellence for the last two decades. Albert and Miguel are two all-time greats whose achievements warrant this special recognition.”
Brian Snitker of the Atlanta Braves will be the manager for the National Leaguers. Snitker will have five members of his defending NL champions Braves available including both of his catchers, William Contreras, and Travis d’Arnaud, at his disposal.
Shortstop Dansby Swanson and third baseman Austin Riley are also NL reserves from Atlanta. The fifth is starting outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. the leading vote-getter in fan balloting for the National League. Pitcher Max Fried of Atlanta was also named to the team but is unable to take part after pitching this past Saturday.
The American League skipper will be Dusty Baker of the Houston Astros. Now in his 25th season as a big-league manager, Baker had five members of his defending AL pennant-winning Houston squad named as All-Stars.
Jose Altuve, who was voted as the AL starter at second base and both outfielder Yordan Alvarez and pitcher Justin Verlander were chosen as reserves. They will all miss the game. Participating for Houston will be outfielder Kyle Tucker and pitcher Framber Valdez. Verlander joins Kershaw in being named to a ninth All-Star team, most among this year’s pitchers.
Bryce Harper of the Phillies, who was elected as the first-ever starter for the National League as a Designated Hitter, joins Chisholm in missing the game due to injury. Other NL players scratched are Nolan Arenado, Starling Marte, Corbin Burnes, Josh Hader, and Carlos Rodon.
Harper was the National League Most Valuable Player a year ago and is an All-Star for the seventh time in his 11-year career, but his first since signing with the Philadelphia Phillies as a high-profile free agent prior to the 2019 season.
The American League Most Valuable Player from last season is back among this year’s stars as well. Two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani will appear as an AL All-Star for a second straight year. The 28-year-old Japanese import is again an MVP contender. But this year he is also pitching enough that he could also push for an AL Cy Young Award.
The AL will be looking to extend what is now an eight-game winning streak, though all have been relatively close affairs decided by three runs or less. The last NL win came in an 8-0 blowout at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City back in 2012, with Verlander the losing pitcher.
The 2022 MLB All-Star Game will be broadcast on traditional television by the Fox network starting at 8:00 PM EDT. Joe Davis has the play-by-play with Hall of Famer John Smoltz supplying color commentary. Ken Rosenthal and Tom Verducci will also be on hand to provide bonus information and interviews.
For fans looking to pickup some gear, Major League Baseball is offering official hats, jerseys, and other items at the following link: 2022 MLB All-Star Game.