NL behind pitchers
Don't blink, or you might miss the All-Star Game.
Two prevailing trends suggest a 3-1 victory by the National League in this the Year of the Pitcher II. Scoring is down, which is likely to eliminate the big inning. And the talent drain of the game has been extreme, with 17 players eliminated either through the game's pitching rules, injuries or indifference.
I'm picking my winner based on the league that has suffered the heavier losses. That's the AL, specifically its pitching staff. The NL has all its pitchers except Matt Cain and Cole Hamels, and that's a big advantage for Bruce Bochy over Ron Washington, who will be nagged by the question of why he picked Aaron Crow for his team. My MVP: Pablo Sandoval.
AL behind Bautista
Los Angeles Times
Tuesday's All-Star Game won't be a test of which league is stronger so much as it will determine which league is deeper.
At last count 17 players selected to the American and National league rosters won't be in Phoenix. And some of those who will be there are replacements for replacements. So it's any guess how this will play out when the dust settles.
But while both teams have some excellent pitchers left, this is generally a hitters' game and the bulk of the power remaining is on the American League side. So I like the AL to win with fan favorite Jose Bautista leading the way.
Montero will key repeat
Juan C. Rodriguez
You have to go back to 1986-88 to find the last three All-Star Games with alternating winners. For whatever reason, the leagues tend to get on rolls.
The NL last year snapped the AL's 13-game unbeaten streak, so let's figure the NL is due to go on a run and win back-to-back games for the first time since 1994-96. As to who might prominently figure in the outcome, the starters generally are out well before the game is decided.
With the exception of the pitcher, who is in a better position to impact the game than the catcher? My MVP pick is hometown boy Miguel Montero. Look for the strong-armed Montero in his first All-Star Game to throw out a runner and deliver the game's key hit.
Winner? Not the fans
The Morning Call
Let me get this right: CC Sabathia makes the American League All-Star team Sunday but is replaced because MLB rules prohibit pitchers who throw on Sunday. Jon Lester makes the AL All-Star team Sunday, but he's on the disabled list, so he is replaced. No Derek Jeter. No A-Rod. No Albert Pujols. No Ichiro. No Cole Hamels. No Justin Verlander. No King Felix.
And I'm supposed to care who wins Tuesday's All-Star Game?
Remember how embarrassing the tie game was in 2002? This year's game is a joke and it hasn't been played yet.
Winner: National League. MVP: Matt Kemp. But don't wake me to tell me.