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2016 MLB All-Star Game Preview

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The Cubs take on the Red Sox. Or maybe it just seems that way...

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Johnny Cueto
RHP, 13–1, 2.47
Chris Sale
LHP, 14–3, 3.38
Ben Zobrist, Cubs, 2B Jose Altuve, Astros, 2B
Bryce Harper, Nationals, RF Mike Trout, Angels, CF
Kris Bryant, Cubs, 3B Manny Machado, Orioles, 3B
Wil Myers, Padres, DH David Ortiz, Red Sox, DH
Buster Posey, Giants, C Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox, SS
Anthony Rizzo, Cubs, 1B Eric Hosmer, Royals, 1B
Marcell Ozuna, Marlins, CF Mookie Betts, Red Sox, RF
Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies, LF Salvador Perez, Royals, C
Addison Russell, Cubs, SS Jackie Bradley Jr., Red Sox, LF

The 87th edition of the best All-Star game in sport takes place at Petco Park in San Diego. It's the third time the city has hosted the game, the previous occasions being in 1978 and 1992. But if you look at the above line-ups, you'll notice something odd. Specifically, despite the location, the American League are the "home" team. That's because this is the second of four consecutive games in NL parks, with the Reds last year, and now the Padres, Marlins and Nationals hosting through 2018. Because winning determines home-field advantage in the World Series, it was decreed the benefit of batting second should continue to rotate, and not be based on location.

There's a good argument to be made that being an "All-Star" isn't what it used to be. Thanks to injury and other replacements, no less than 79 players this year will officially be considered All-Stars. Given there are 750 players on major-league rosters at any time before September, it's more of a Quite Good First-half Game than necessarily laden with star power. It's probably not just me, but there are players on the roster - particularly in the American League - that I've never even heard of. In other news, I just realized Will Harris is an All-Star. Wouldn't have guessed that when Arizona gave him away to Houston on waivers in November 2014. .

Obviously, getting home-field advantage in the World Series isn't going to be of enormous significance to the 2016 Diamondbacks, but it's always nice to beat the American League. Hasn't happened much of late, with the National League having lost the last three. That streak began in 2013, when Patrick Corbin became the only Diamondbacks pitcher ever to be involved in the decision of an All-Star Game. The last two have been won by Detroit pitchers, and have had Mike Trout as MVP. The latter might happen again, but the former's only chance is if it runs 18 innings and Miguel Cabrera, the Tigers' sole rep, is forced into pitching duty.

Hey, we can but hope, right?

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