The MLB All-Star Game festivities begin tonight. While the rosters are known, the lineups are not. Here is our prediction for the NL line-up.
Tonight, the stars of Major League Baseball gather to enjoy the All-Star festivities. While the series records between the National and American Leagues teams is close (43-42-2 in favor of the NL), the AL has been dominant in the last 20 years. In that span, they raised the trophy 16 times, and earned a tie.
Can the NL get in the win column? That will depend on several factors. Can pitching keep the AL batters at bay? Will the NL line-up be able to produce runs? With a new pitcher almost every inning, batters tend to be off-balance.
The good thing is that the NL starting roster is capable of getting runners on and in. The team’s manager Joe Maddon just needs to figure out how to set it up. That will be a challenge, especially since six of the player tend to bat in the middle of their regular order.
But, there is one thing we do not know. Starting in 2010, the All-Star lineup uses the designated hitter at all times. Considering that pitchers were pinch-hit for regularly, the rule change makes sense. Who will that person be for NL? My guess is Justin Turner.
- Charlie Blackmon (.319/.372/.583; 20 HR, 61 RBI)
- Nolan Arenado (.301/.351/.554; 17 HR, 70 RBI)
- Bryce Harper (.325/.431/.590; 20 HR, 65 RBI)
- Marcell Ozuna (.316/.374/.566; 23 HR, 70 RBI)
- Daniel Murphy (.342/.393/.572; 14 HR, 64 RBI)
- Ryan Zimmerman (.330/.373/.596; 19 HR, 63 RBI)
- Justin Turner (.377/.473/.583; 10 HR, 37 RBI)
- Buster Posey (.324/.406/.498; 10 HR, 35 RBI)
- Zack Cozart (.316/.394/.547; 9 HR, 35 RBI)
That is a potent lineup. All batters possess great splits, and most have 60 or more RBI. What makes this lineup dangerous is their onbase percentage. Only one player gets on base less than 37 percent of the time.
The main concern is that several players are batting out of normal order, but Maddon likes chemistry. While Blackmon leads off for the Colorado Rockies, his teammate Arenado is usually third. Harper also hits third for the Washington Nationals, typically followed by Zimmerman and Murphy. However, with the game in Miami, the hometown Marlins’ outfielder gets the nod in the clean-up spot. That is his normal position in the order.
Zimmerman and Murphy are use to batting together, and Posey is just reliable. Cozart is the only player on the starting roster that has experience in the bottom of the order.
Still, that is a great lineup.