The 29-year-old righty has had an inconsistent season

#1 von elaine95 , 26.11.2018 03:52

The 2018 Major League Baseball All-Star Game has the potential to belong to the top hitters in the sport.Both starting lineups are chock full of impressive sluggers David Freese Jersey , but the American League has a distinct advantage on paper.When it comes to the starting pitchers, you couldn't ask for a better matchup, and it's one we've seen in the past.A year ago at Marlins Park, the American League squeezed out a 2-1 victory in 10 innings to extend its winning streak to five games.While most of the scores in recent years have been low, that trend could easily be changed by stars in each starting lineup.Starting PitchersMax Scherzer, National LeagueThe identity of the National League starting pitchers was never really in question.Given the year Max Scherzer's had for the Washington Nationals, it was an easy call for NL manager Dave Roberts to make, as the right-handed hurler has an opportunity to shine in front of his home fans, just like Bryce Harper did during Monday's Home Run Derby.In 20 starts in 2018, Scherzer is 12-5 with a 2.41 ERA, 0.899 WHIP and 182 strikeouts, a combination of statistics few across the majors can match.Roberts kept it simple when describing his decision to start Scherzer Monday, per's Mark Feinsand:Mark Feinsand FeinsandDave Roberts on choosing Max Scherzer to start: 鈥淚t鈥檚 his city. It鈥檚 his ballpark.鈥淪cherzer will be opposed by Boston's Chris Sale, who he faced a year ago in the All-Star Game at Marlins Park.Scherzer and Sale are the only the second pair of pitchers to start the All-Star Game in back-to-back years, per ESPN Stats and Info:ESPN Stats amp; Info ESPNStatsInfoChris Sale and Max Scherzer will start the MLB All-Star Game for the second year in a row. Its the second time in All-Star Game history that the same pitchers started consecutive years Tyler Glasnow Jersey , joining Red Ruffing and Paul Derringer in 1939-40. bPZnQzt15BChris Sale, American LeagueOnly one person could outdo the achievementScherzer earned, and that's Sale, who is taking the mound first for the AL for the third straight year.The left-handed pitcher from the Boston Red Sox is the first hurler to start three straight All-Star Games since Robin Roberts achieved the feat from 1953 to '55, per MLB Stat of the Day:MLB Stat of the Day MLBStatoftheDayChris Sale is the first pitcher to start the #AllStarGame for three straight seasons since Robin Roberts (1953-55). 4QzEtD9ysRIn his two All-Star starts, the 29-year-old conceded one run, which came on a home run by Kris Bryant in the first inning of the 2016 contest.Although you could make an argument for another player to start for the AL, Sale is deserving of the honor once again, as he boasts a 10-4 record with a 2.23 ERA, 0.899 WHIP and 188 strikeouts.The key for both Scherzer and Sale will be setting the tone for the rest of their respective pitching staffs.Each of the last five All-Star Games, all won by the AL, failed to reach 10 combined runs, which means more emphasis is on the finer details of the game, and if Sale is able to shut down the NL for one or two innings, it'll be the perfect start for the team managed by Houston's A.J. Hinch. Starting LineupsMLB MLBThese lineups are STACKED. Which squad has the edge? X9GwbKq7JdThe AL lineup is by far the more dominant one on paper at this year's All-Star Game.Among the nine batters are the league leaders in batting average , on-base percentage, slugging percentage, home runs, RBI, extra-base hits and WAR.With Mookie Betts and Jose Altuve at the start of the order, the AL has the perfect pair of players to get on base for the impressive collection of sluggers behind them.Two-time All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Mike Trout bats third, while J.D. Martinez and Jose Ramirez, who are tied for the MLB home run lead, follow the starting center fielder.If that isn't impressive enough, Aaron Judge and Manny Machado have the potential to pack more power before Jose Abreu and Salvador Perez turn over the order back to the leadoff men.The NL starting nine isn't terrible, but it fails to compare to what the AL brings to the plate, and it also feels like an odd order with Harper hitting sixth.Javier Baez and Nolan Arenado should bring some pop to the plate to start the game, but it feels strange to see the Home Run Derby champion wait until the sixth spot to bat, even if he's struggling at the plate this season.Although there are a few sluggers in the NL lineup, the senior circuit starters might be better suited to manufacture runs through Paul Goldschmidt Chad Kuhl Jersey , Freddie Freeman and Matt Kemp.On paper, it appears the AL is in the best shape to tack on runs early, but given the recent scores of the All-Star Game, the power might not be on display in each of the nine innings.Follow Joe on Twitter, JTansey90.Statistics obtained from Baseball Reference. Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg downplayed an argument he had with Max Scherzer in the dugout following a rough outing against the Atlanta Braves on Friday.As seen in the following video courtesy ofSportsCenter, Scherzer patted Strasburg on the back after he was lifted from an 8-5 loss, and a heated discussion ensued:SportsCenter SportsCenterThings got heated between Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer in the dugout. 2rT6HZ78ecWith regard to the incident, Strasburg told's Eddie Matz, "It's part of family, man. You got to be in the family."When pressed further on the situation, Strasburg responded, "You've got to be in the family. You're not."Strasburg lasted just 4.2 innings Friday, surrendering eight hits, two walks and six earned runs, while striking out six.He was taken out of the game in the fifth after allowing three runs in the inning.The 29-year-old righty has had an inconsistent season , as he is 6-7 with a 3.90 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 101 strikeouts in 85.1 innings.Strasburg is a three-time All-Star, and he won 15 games last season with a 2.52 ERA.Nats manager Davey Martinez didn't get into specifics regarding the argument, but he said after the game that things were hashed out:"We had a really good conversation, I'll just say that. It was addressed. Look, they're very competitive. Everybody is. I'm glad we talked. It's over. Let's move forward. These guys are professionals. We're good. I'm good that we had the conversation. This stuff happens. I've been on teams where guys wanted to choke each other. It's a long season. They get it. They understand. We talk about it. I don't want to lose sleep about it. It was a really good conversation. I'll just leave it at that. Things are good."While Martinez may believe things are good between Strasburg and Scherzer, the same can't be said for the team as a whole.Following Friday's loss, Washington is now 48-49, and it trails the Philadelphia Phillies by 6.5 games for the NL East lead.The Nationals are also six games out of a wild-card spot, meaning their two-year playoff streak is in danger of coming to an end.

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