MLB All-Star Game: Predicting the Starters for Both Teams
MLB All-Star Game: Predicting the Starters for Both Teams
We’re just under a month away from the 2022 Major League All-Star Game, which is set for July 19th at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. Starting rosters will be announced on July 8th with the full teams being revealed two days later, on the 10th. Below I’ve listed who I expect to be in the starting lineup for both the American League and National League.
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PROJECTED 2022 AMERICAN LEAGUE STARTERS
SP: Shane McClanahan (Tampa Bay Rays)
The Rays southpaw has clearly been the best starting pitcher in the American League, and an argument could be made that he's the best in all of baseball. He comes in ranked third in ERA (1.81) and first in both WHIP (0.85) and strikeouts (113). While Justin Verlander is a great comeback story, McClanahan tops him on the stat sheet.
C: Alejandro Kirk (Toronto Blue Jays)
The Jays backstop boasts a 2.6 WAR this season and has a slash line of .307/.397/.464 through 58 games. He’s left the yard five times and has 22 RBI’s so far this season. This will be Kirk’s first all-star appearance in his 2+ year career.
1B: Ty France (Seattle Mariners)
First base in the American League is absolutely stacked with talent and this was one of the toughest choices that I had to make. Anthony Rizzo, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., and Ty France are neck and neck at first, but I think the Mariner first baseman takes the cake. France is putting together a great season, hitting for both power and average. He’s slashing .314/.391/.477 with 10 long balls, 13 doubles, and 44 RBI.
2B: Jose Altuve (Houston Astros)
The Astros second baseman is still one of the best in the game. Altuve’s currently hitting .274 with 12 home runs and 23 RBI.
3B: Jose Ramirez (Cleveland Guardians)
The star third baseman is the sole reason the Guardians are in the A.L. Central race. His bat may single handedly drag Cleveland to the playoffs this year. Ramirez has the most RBI in the A.L. (62) and he’s slashing .305/.397/.642 with 16 home runs. He leads all of baseball with a 1.039 OPS and he’s one of just six players with an OPS greater than 1.000.
SS: Tim Anderson (Chicago White Sox)
This was another tough choice as Xander Bogaerts and TA7 are both raking at the plate this year. I give a slight edge to Anderson as he’s hitting .357 and will be in contention for his second career batting title towards the end of the year.
OF: Aaron Judge (New York Yankees)
Judge is the best hitter in baseball right now. He leads the league with 25 home runs and boasts an OPS of 1.026 through 65 games. Oh, and the Yankee outfielder hits for average. He’s currently hitting .301 on the year.
OF: Mike Trout (Los Angeles Angels)
Not far behind Judge is Mike Trout. The star outfielder is slashing .290/.387/.652 with 21 home runs and 43 RBI. Trout is still the best player in all of baseball at the age of 30. This will be his 10th career all-star game and now we just need to work on getting him to the playoffs.
OF: Byron Buxton (Minnesota Twins)
While Buxton doesn’t necessarily hit for average (.233), he’s mashed 18 home runs and driven in 33 RBI. The Twins outfielder has an OPS of .897 and his WAR is 2.4. The crazy part is that he’s only played in 50 games. If Buxton was healthy and an everyday player, his home run and RBI numbers would be even higher.
DH: Yordan Alvarez (Houston Astros)
I predict that we’ll look back at Alvarez’s recent contract extension of six-years, $115 million and consider it a steal for Houston. Alvarez is a star and hits for both average and power. He’s currently slashing .311/.403/.623 with 18 home runs and 47 RBI. He’s clearly the best designated hitter in the A.L.
PROJECTED 2022 NATIONAL LEAGUE STARTERS
SP: Joe Musgrove (San Diego Padres)
Sandy Alcantara and Joe Musgrove will battle it out for the starting role in Los Angeles next month. But as for now, I’d go with Musgrove as he leads the league in wins (8), ERA (1.59), and quality starts (12). The right-hander also boasts a 0.92 WHIP (5th) over 79.0 innings of work this year.
C: Wilson Contreras (Chicago Cubs)
The catcher position isn’t very deep when it comes when hitting so the Chicago backstop is a pretty easy choice here. Contreras is hitting .279 with 12 home runs, 13 doubles, and 27 RBI on the year. This will be his third all-star appearance.
1B: Paul Goldschmidt (St. Louis Cardinals)
The Cardinals slugger is having a career year at the age of 34. Goldy is slashing .339/.417/.614 with 16 homers and 58 RBI through 66 games played. He’s far and away the best first baseman in the National League and can easily make a case for being the best in baseball.
2B: Jazz Chisholm Jr. (Miami Marlins)
Jazz is one of the most electric players in baseball and he does a little bit of everything. His combination of speed, power, and athleticism are unmatched. He’s blasted 13 home runs, scored 36 runs, driven in 42 RBI, and swiped 11 bags so far in 2022.
3B: Manny Machado (San Diego Padres)
The Padres star is well deserving of starting at the hot corner for the National League this year. He’s slashing .328/.400/.545 with 12 big flies and 46 RBI. Him and Musgrove are the main reasons that the Padres are within striking distance of the top spot in the N.L. West.
SS: Trea Turner (Los Angeles Dodgers)
Other notable shortstops in the N.L. are Jose Iglesias and Dansby Swanson, but Trea Turner was a pretty easy choice to start in the all-star game. Turner’s hitting .310 with nine home runs, 49 RBI, and he’s stolen 14 bases.
OF: Mookie Betts (Los Angeles Dodgers)
Keeping it with the host team, Mookie Betts has been by far the best outfielder in the National League. He’s hitting .273 with 17 homers and 40 RBI. Not to mention, his play in right field is unparalleled. It seems like Mookie is always throwing people out and making diving plays. He’s arguably the most well-rounded player in baseball.
OF: Mark Canha (New York Mets)
Aside from Mookie Betts, the National League outfield isn’t very deep. I’ll give Canha the nod here as he’s hitting .292 with five homers and 27 RBI. He’s putting together a solid season for the Mets.
OF: Brandon Nimmo (New York Mets)
Canha and Nimmo aren’t even the best players on their team, but with the lack of depth in the N.L. outfield, Nimmo should be able to make his way into the starting lineup. He boasts a .364 OBP to go along with four home runs, 11 doubles, and 21 RBI.
DH: Bryce Harper (Philadelphia Phillies)
The 2021 N.L. MVP will round out the starting lineup for the National League as the designated hitter. Harper’s DH’ed 51 games this season and has a 2.7 WAR with 15 home runs and 48 RBI. He’s also batting .326 with an OBP of .391. Harper’s on a tear this year.
Trent is a Chicago native who has been an avid sports fan since he could walk. He played sports throughout his youth and played collegiate rugby at Arizona State University. Trent still resides in Arizona, where he spends his days covering sports from a sports betting perspective. He fell in love with the analytical side of sports in his late teens and has been following the sports betting industry for 10+ years now! You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram for all of his sports betting picks at @Trentbets.