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2015 All-Star Game Preview

The midsummer classic takes place tonight in Cincinnati, with Paul Goldschmidt starting for the NL, and A.J. Pollock on the bench.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Dallas Keuchel
LHP, 11-4, 2.23
Zack Greinke
RHP, 8-2, 1.39
Mike Trout
Andrew McCutchen
Josh Donaldson
Todd Frazier
Albert Pujols
RF Bryce Harper
DH Nelson Cruz 1B Paul Goldschmidt
Lorenzo Cain
Buster Posey
LF Adam Jones DH
Anthony Rizzo
Salvador Perez
Jhonny Peralta
Jose Altuve
Joc Pederson
Alcides Escobar
2B D.J. LeMahieu

Looking at those two line-ups, I have to think the National League is the stronger overall, and should have a chance to get back into the W column, ending the streak of American League victories at two. The stuffing of ballots for the Kansas City Royals may end up working against the AL and there don't seem to be many positions at which they have a clear advantage over the NL. Center field, probably, perhaps 2B - LeMahieu would only be an All-Star if this game was being played at Coors Field, since away from there this season, his line is a thoroughly unimpressive .268/.319/.329, a .648 OPS that is 45 points below the NL road average!

I'm not sure how much is simple familiarity: I had to check a few of the AL namesto make sure I knew which "Jones" and "Perez" were being referred to. In the National League, the only issue was forcing my fingers to "mis-spell" Peralta's first name! I suppose I could go through the rosters and tally up WAR for each side, figure out a more objective measure of which is the "better" team. But I think that's probably an idea to be filed away for the 2016 All-Star Game... Must admit, outside of Goldie and A.J., I may secretly cheer for the AL: it's not as if we are likely to secure home-field advantage this World Series, and anything that impedes the Dodgers is fine by me!

Events are already well under way in Cincinnati, with the red carpet introductions having begun at noon. The pre-game show kicks off at 4pm Arizona time, on both FOX Sports and FOX Sports Go, with the game itself officially scheduled for a 4:30pm start. But that's likely to bear about as much relation to reality as those "serving suggestion" pictures on the boxes for over-ready pizza. Do not expect Deutsche Bundesbahn levels of punctuality on this one.