Trout leads powerful AL lineup against Scherzer, Harper and NL All-Stars
Mike Trout, Aaron Judge and Mookie Betts form a dream outfield for the AL. Bryce Harper and Max Scherzer make up a not-so-gracious welcome committee for the NL.
Power in the center of power. A capital-sized All-Star Game.
Baseball unveiled the rosters for its midsummer showcase Sunday night, featuring an imposing lineup for the American League and Harper in his usual spot at his home ballpark in Washington.
Trout is working on perhaps the best season of his stellar career with the Los Angeles Angels. Judge has 25 homers and 58 RBIs for the New York Yankees, and Betts is batting .342 with 22 homers for the major league-leading Boston Red Sox.
But that’s just the beginning for the AL. Houston Astros second baseman and reigning AL MVP Jose Altuve led the fan balloting with 4.8 million votes. Baltimore Orioles shortstop Manny Machado will make the short trip down to D.C. for the July 17 game with speculation increasing about his future ahead of the trade deadline.
Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu, Cleveland Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez, Red Sox designated hitter J.D. Martinez and Tampa Bay Rays catcher Wilson Ramos round out the AL’s starting lineup.
Harper was voted a starter for the fourth straight year. The slugger, who is eligible for free agency after this season, is batting just .218 for the disappointing Nationals, but he has 21 homers and 50 RBIs.
Nick Markakis and Matt Kemp will join Harper in the NL outfield. Markakis has been a key performer for the surprising Atlanta Braves and made it for the first time in 13 major league seasons. Kemp’s return to the Los Angeles Dodgers has been a smashing success.
The Chicago Cubs will have two starters after catcher Willson Contreras and second baseman Javier Baez won close races at their position in fan balloting. Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman, Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado and Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford round out the NL starting lineup.
Scherzer was selected for the sixth time. The three-time Cy Young Award winner is 11-5 with a 2.33 ERA and could get the start in his home ballpark.
Former Pirates pitcher Gerrit Cole was selected among the AL pitchers. In his first season with the Astros, Cole is 9-2 with a 2.70 ERA and 158 strikeouts.
The Astros and Red Sox have a game-high five All-Stars each, and Boston could get a sixth if Andrew Benintendi wins the final vote.