The 2014 MLB All-Star Game is set to get underway on Tuesday night at Target Field in Minnesota. While the contest will feature the best players in baseball, much of the focus will be on the starter with the least impressive numbers this season.
In his 20th and final season, Derek Jeter is set to play in his last All-Star game. The New York Yankees shortstop will leadoff and play in the exhibition for the 14th time in his career. Jeter has struggled in 2014, batting .272 with just two home runs and 25 RBI.
It could be the last time Jeter plays on such a big stafe. The Yankees are 47-47 at the break and trail the Toronto Blue Jays by five games in the AL East. New York could be headed towards a second straight season without a playoff appearance.
Tuesday night should be very reminiscent of the 2001 All-Star Game, when another future Hall of Fame shortstop made his final appearance in the contest. Cal Ripken Jr. got the start a 40 years old, like Jeter, and went on to have one of the most memorable moments in the game’s history. He launched a home run on the first pitch he saw and was named the game’s MVP.
Even though the American League’s starting shortstop is past his prime, the team is the slightest of favorites over the National League. The consensus betting odds at multiple Las Vegas sportsbooks have the AL set at -106 favorites. The NL’s odds are listed at -104.
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Seattle’s Felix Hernandez and St. Louis’ Adam Wainwright will start the game on the mound. The Mariners’ pitcher is in the midst of his best season ever, registering a 2.12 ERA and 0.90 WHIP in 20 starts. Wainwright was given the nod over Clayton Kershaw, who recently pitched 41 scoreless innings. The Cardinals’ starter is more than deserving, though, pitching to a 1.83 ERA and 12-4 record.
Since the All-Star Game began determining home-field advantage in the World Series, the AL has gotten the better of the NL more often than not. The AL is 8-3 in the last 11 years, including a victory in 2013 that broke a three-game losing streak.
The 2014 All-Star Game is set to begin at 8 p.m. ET on FOX. Viewers can watch a live stream by using MLB.tv, though a premium subscription is required.
American League National League
SS Derek Jeter, Yankees CF Andrew McCutchen, Pirates
LF Mike Trout, Angels RF Yasiel Puig, Dodgers
2B Robinson Cano, Mariners SS Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies
3B Miguel Cabrera, Tigers 1B Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks
RF Jose Bautista, Blue Jays DH Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins
DH Nelson Cruiz, Orioles 3B Aramis Ramirez, Brewers
CF Adam Jones, Orioles 2B Chase Utley, Phillies
3B Josh Donaldson, Athletics C Jonathan Lucroy, Brewers
C Salvador Perez, Royals LF Carlos Gomez, Brewers
SP Felix Hernandez, Mariners SP Adam Wainwright, Cardinals
National League 2, American League 1