MLB prides itself on having the best All-Star Game of the four major sports, besting the NFL, NBA and NHL in terms of competition and importance. The American League and National League will compete on Tuesday night at Cincinnati’s Great American Ballpark for the right to have home-field advantage in the 2015 World Series.
The NL has been the more impressive league in the 2015 season, making them favorites on Tuesday. The St. Louis Cardinals lead the Majors with a 56-33 record, and three NL teams have at least 50 wins, with only the Kansas City Royals reaching that mark in the AL. The MLB leaders in home runs, RBI, wins, ERA, saves and WAR all play for NL teams.
A few notable stars won’t be participating in Tuesday’s contest. Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton leads all of baseball with 27 home runs, and his 67 RBI rank third in MLB, even though a broken bone in his left hand has kept him off the field since June 26. Washington Nationals starter Max Scherzer won’t play in the game because he pitched on Sunday, winning his 10th game and improving his ERA to 2.11.
This year’s AL and NL rosters are dominated by young players. Johnny Peralta is the only NL starter that is more than 29 years old, and three of the AL starting position players are 25 years old or younger. Mike Trout and Bryce Harper, who have been baseball’s best players this year, are 23 years old and 22 years old, respectively.
Trout was named the game’s MVP last year, going 2-3 with a double, a triple and two RBI. It was the second win in a row for the AL, and the league has gone 14-3-1 in the last 18 All-Star Games.
Thirty-three players have made the All-Star roster for the first time in their careers, highlighted by the sport’s top rookies. Los Angeles Dodgers rookie Joc Pederson will start in left field for the National League after reaching the finals of the Home Run Derby. Kris Bryant also competed on Monday, and the Chicago Cubs third baseman made the team as a reserve.
Albert Pujols leads all players with his 10th selection, though Miguel Cabrera made the team for a 10th time and won’t play because of an injury. Felix Hernandez, Jonathan Papelbon and Francisco Rodriguez lead all pitchers with their sixth All-Star selections.
The MLB All-Star Game has determined home-field advantage since 2003, one year after the contest ended in an 11-inning tie. A win for the AL didn’t help the Kansas City Royals in the 2014 Fall Classic, since they lost the series in Game 7 at Kauffman Stadium. Three years earlier, the St. Louis Cardinals won both Game 6 and Game 7 of the 2011 World Series just a few months after the NL won the All-Star Game.
Start Time: Coverage begins at 7 p.m. ET, game scheduled to start at 8 p.m. ET
TV Channel: FOX
Online Stream: FOX Sports GO