With the MLB All-Star Game festivities starting today in Miami, the American League looks to continue their dominance. Their starting lineup is deadly.
There is no way to say it other than this: the American League has dominated the MLB All-Star game in the last two decades. Coming into 1997, the National League held a 40 to 26 edge over the AL. Plus, there was one tie.
That is when the AL took over. Since 1997, the AL won 16 games. And, again, another tie. The record now stand 43 to 42, with two ties, in the favor of the NL.
That could be 43 and 43 after this year’s matchup. The AL lineup is lethal. Cleveland Indian’s bench coach Brad Mills, who is serving in place of the ill Terry Francona, has a very difficult decision. How should the AL lineup look.
Glad you asked. Here is what I think:
- George Springer (.310/.380/.613; 27 HR, 61 RBI)
- Jose Altuve (.347/.417/.551; 13 HR 50 RBI)
- Aaron Judge (.329/.448/.691; 30 HR, 66 RBI)
- Justin Smoak (.294/.360/.575; 23 HR, 56 RBI)
- Salvador Perez (.290/.318/.532; 18 HR, 57 RBI)
- Jose Ramirez (.332/.388/.601, 17 HR, 48 RBI)
- Carlos Correa (.325/.402/.577; 20 HR, 65 RBI)
- Mookie Betts (.272/.351/.486; 13 HR, 43 RBI)
- Corey Dickerson (.312/.355/.548; 17 HR, 42 RBI)
That is a strong lineup, but with a few issues. Between Springer, Betts and Dickerson, the lineup features three leadoff hitters on their regular teams. Complicating that is that Judge, Correa, Ramirez, and Smoak are all middle of the order batters. Then, Perez only bats fifth for the Kansas City Royals. Dividing those players into a potent lineup is difficult.
Springer and Altuve have chemistry as they are the top of the Houston Astros’ order. Judge is holding court in the third spot and earns the right to bat in the first inning. That should draw in the Yankee viewers for a while.
Smoak is having a breakout year, as is Ramirez. Both are commonly fifth and sixth for their teams, and fit nicely there for the AL. Correa is the odd man out, but that will be no problem for him. He brings his glove and lunch to every game and just plays.
The order resets with Betts and Dickerson on the end, letting Springer’s power prove potent.
The NL had best be ready to play defense.