At first, home-field advantage in the World Series generally rotated between the American and National League through 2002. However, MLB, led by then-Commissioner Bud Selig, and Fox television promoted the “This Time It Counts” innovation after the 2002 All-Star Game in Milwaukee ended in a 7-7, 11-inning tie when both teams ran out of pitchers.
In fact, Selig was embarrassed by that in his hometown too and thus in 2003 the winning league of the All-Star Game got home-field advantage in the World Series. Right now that’s no longer the case with the Midsummer Classic.
Will it affect the level of competition? We shall have to see, although MLB’s All-Star Game is generally considered much more competitive than the NFL Pro Bowl or NBA & NHL All-Star Games.
2017 MLB All-Star Game Betting Odds, Preview & Prediction
When: Tuesday, 8 p.m. ET
Where: Marlins Park, Miami
Stream: Fox Sports Go
MLB All-Star Game Odds: National League -115 (9)
Initially, each roster comprises 32 players — 20 position players and 12 pitchers. As in years past, each of MLB’s 30 teams must be represented by at least one All-Star. There is a DH in the game even though it’s in a National League park.
As shown above it’s MLB’s 88th All-Star Game and it’s the first time ever hosted by the city of Miami. Notably no official MLB All-Star Game was held in 1945 including the official selection of players due to World War II travel restrictions.
MLB All-Star Game Recent HistoryAt the present time, the National League has won 43, while the American has won 42; two games ended in ties. As a matter of fact, the NL has the longest winning streak of 11 games from 1972–1982; the AL held a 13-game unbeaten streak from 1997–2009 (including the tie in 2002). The AL has won the past four.
For instance, last year, the American League was a 4-2 winner. Game MVP Eric Hosmer homered in the second inning and added an RBI single in the fourth. His Kansas City teammate, Salvador Perez, also delivered a two-run homer in the second. But for this year, there will be no repeat MVP winner as Hosmer wasn’t selected this year.
Who Will Take the Mound on Tuesday?In all honesty, the biggest pitching and hitting star in MLB will not play even though they were selected for the All-Star game. Angels outfielder Mike Trout, a two-time All-Star MVP, is out as he rehabs an injury.
Boston’s Mookie Betts, a runner-up to Trout in last year’s AL MVP voting, will start in his place. In contrast, Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw, the three-time Cy Young winner and a favorite this year along with Washington’s Max Scherzer, pitched on Sunday for L.A. and thus is ineligible for the game.
He has been replaced by teammate Alex Wood, who is 10-0 this season with an MLB-best 1.67 ERA. A few other guys from each league will also miss the game due to injury or because they pitched Sunday.
And the Teams are Managed By…The National League will be managed by the Cubs’ Joe Maddon because his team won the pennant (and World Series) last year. The AL was supposed to be managed by the Indians’ Terry Francona, but he is out after having a heart procedure last week.
In the meantime, Indians bench coach Brad Mills will replace Francona as manager of the AL team and be assisted by Rays manager Kevin Cash. Francona expects to return to the dugout when the second half begins Friday.
As of this writing, the managers haven’t announced the starting pitchers, but I’m confident it will be Boston’s Chris Sale and Washington’s Max Scherzer. Sale (11-4, 2.75) actually comes off a loss, allowing four runs on seven hits while striking out 12 batters through seven innings Thursday vs. Tampa Bay.
How Well are Sale and Scherzer Doing?For starters, it was just the third time through 18 starts that Sale allowed more than three runs. Up to the present time, he leads the AL in innings, strikeouts and WHIP and is second in wins and ERA. He’s your clear Cy Young favorite.
His total of 178 strikeouts is the highest heading into the All-Star Game since Curt Schilling had 186 Ks before the break for the Diamondbacks in 2002 (in one more start than Sale has made this year).
On the contrary, Scherzer (10-5, 2.10) is the reigning NL Cy Young winner and as noted a favorite for another along with Kershaw. He also comes off a moderately disappointing start, allowing four runs on six hits and one walk while striking out 10 but received no-decision Friday against the Braves. He leads the NL in strikeouts (173), ERA and WHIP (0.78) while ranking second in wins and third in innings pitched (128.1).
So What’s the Initiative This Year Now That Home-Field Advantage in the World Series Isn’t Part of It?In reality, that would be cash. Players on the winning team each get $20,000. The losers get squat, although many players get bonuses in their contracts simply for making an All-Star team.
2017 MLB All-Star Game Rosters
- C Salvador Perez, Kansas City Royals: 18 HR, 57 RBI
- 1B Justin Smoak, Toronto Blue Jays: 23 HR, 56 RBI
- 2B Jose Altuve, Houston Astros: 25 doubles, two triples, 13 home runs
- 3B Jose Ramirez, Cleveland Indians: 16 HR, 46 RBI
- SS Carlos Correa, Houston Astros: 20 HR, 65 RBI
- OF Aaron Judge, New York Yankees: 1.139 OPS, 30 HR, 66 RBI
- OF Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox: 16 HR, 15 SB, 53 RBI
- OF George Springer, Houston Astros: 27 HR, 61 RBI
- DH Corey Dickerson, Tampa Bay Rays: .903 OPS, 17 HR
- C Gary Sanchez, New York Yankees
- 1B Yonder Alonso, Oakland Athletics
- 2B Jonathan Schoop, Baltimore Orioles
- 2B Starlin Castro, New York Yankees
- 2B Robinson Cano, Seattle Mariners
- 3B Miguel Sano, Minnesota Twins
- 3B Mike Moustakas, Kansas City Royals
- SS Francisco Lindor, Cleveland Indians
- OF Avisail Garcia, Chicago White Sox
- OF Michael Brantley, Cleveland Indians
- DH Nelson Cruz, Seattle Mariners
- SP Chris Sale, Boston Red Sox
- SP Lance McCullers Jr., Houston Astros
- SP Jason Vargas, Kansas City Royals
- SP Chris Archer, Tampa Bay Rays
- SP Yu Darvish, Texas Rangers
- SP Michael Fulmer, Detroit Tigers
- SP Corey Kluber, Cleveland Indians
- SP Ervin Santana, Minnesota Twins
- SP Luis Severino, New York Yankees
- SP Dallas Keuchel, Houston Astros
- RP Craig Kimbrel, Boston Red Sox
- RP Andrew Miller, Cleveland Indians
- RP Chris Devenski, Houston Astros
- RP Brandon Kintzler, Minnesota Twins
- RP Roberto Osuna, Toronto Blue Jays
- RP Dellin Betances, New York Yankees
- C Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants: .325 BA, 10 HR, 35 RBI
- 1B Ryan Zimmerman, Washington Nationals: .969 OPS, 19 HR, 63 RBI
- 2B Daniel Murphy, Washington Nationals: .342 BA, 64 RBI
- 3B Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies: .905, 17 HR, 70 RBI
- SS Zack Cozart, Cincinnati Reds: .316 BA, 35 RBI
- OF Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals: 1.021 OPS, 20 HR, 65 RBI
- OF Charlie Blackmon, Colorado Rockies: .319 BA, 20 HR, 61 RBI
- OF Marcell Ozuna, Miami Marlins: 23 HR, 69 RBI
- C Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals
- 1B Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks
- 1B Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds
- 1B/OF Cody Bellinger, Los Angeles Dodgers
- 2B Josh Harrison, Pittsburgh Pirates
- 2B D.J. LeMahieu, Colorado Rockies
- 3B Jake Lamb, Arizona Diamondbacks
- 3B Justin Turner, Los Angeles Dodgers
- SS Corey Seager, Los Angeles Dodgers
- OF Ender Inciarte, Atlanta Braves
- OF Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins
- OF Michael Conforto, New York Mets
- SP Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers
- SP Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals
- SP Carlos Martinez, St. Louis Cardinals
- SP Zack Greinke, Arizona Diamondbacks
- SP Robbie Ray, Arizona Diamondbacks
- SP Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals
- SP Alex Wood, Los Angeles Dodgers
- RP Kenley Jansen, Los Angeles Dodgers
- RP Wade Davis, Chicago Cubs
- RP Corey Knebel, Milwaukee Brewers
- RP Greg Holland, Colorado Rockies
- RP Brad Hand, San Diego Padres
- RP Pat Neshek, Philadelphia Phillies