Game to be played at Petco Park in San Diego, California
The American League has secured home-field advantage in the World Series in each of the past three seasons – and would love to extend that streak as it tangles with the best players from the National League in the 86th annual Major League All-Star Game at San Diego’s Petco Park. The Kansas City Royals failed to use home field to their advantage in 2014, but put it to good use last year en route to their first championship since 1985.
Kansas City manager Ned Yost will be relying on a powerhouse Boston Red Sox lineup that has produced four members of the American League starting lineup. That group is anchored by ageless designated hitter David Ortiz, who will be making his 10th career All-Star Game appearance. He’s joined by teammates and All-Star newcomers Xander Bogaerts, Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr., while the Royals’ Salvador Perez and Eric Hosmer, the Orioles’ Manny Machado and the Astros’ Jose Altuve round out the starting nine.
New York Mets manager Terry Collins may not have the bats to counter the AL lineup, but he certainly has the arms to subdue them. Even without all-world ace Clayton Kershaw, Mets fireballer Noah Syndergaard and Nationals star Stephen Strasburg, the NL will send an armada of nasty pitchers to the hill. That list includes All-Star starter Johnny Cueto, Cubs No. 1 Jake Arrieta, Marlins fireballer Jose Fernandez and 42-year-old fan favorite Bartolo Colon. The lineup is no slouch, either, anchored by four Chicago Cubs – including home-run leader Kris Bryant.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, FOX
LINE HISTORY: The line has moved slightly in favor of the National League after opening at AL +104, while the game total has remained unchanged. View full line history here.
WEATHER REPORT: Sunny skies are expected at Petco Park for first pitch, with temperatures sitting in the high 60s. Wind is expected to blow from left to right field at 6 mph.
Heidi Strobel Hamels is a reality TV star and the wife of Texas Rangers left-hander – and four-time All-Star – Cole Hamels.
PITCHING MATCHUP: White Sox LH Chris Sale (14-3, 3.38 ERA) vs. Giants RH Johnny Cueto (13-1, 2.47 ERA)
Sale sliced through the majority of his opponents in the first half, and comes into the break as the majors’ only 14-game winner. While his K/9 rate has dipped below nine – after sitting at a league-best 11.8 last season – he has made up for it by pitching deeper into games, evidenced by his AL-high three complete games. Opponents are hitting just .223 against him.
Cueto has endured some trouble spots of late but has otherwise been one of the most dominant pitchers in the NL; He has allowed two runs or fewer in 13 of 18 starts, and is coming off a complete-game five-hitter against Colorado. Cueto’s 13 victories lead the National League, and the 30-year-old is on a personal 10-game winning streak dating back to his lone loss April 21.