The 2021 MLB All-Star Game was to be held in Atlanta this year, but the league moved it to Denver back in April in response to a new Georgia law that has civil rights groups concerned about its potential to restrict voting access for people of color. While the American League has won the All-Star Game seven straight years, it is a +100 underdog on the MLB odds for Tuesday night. The National League, which will bat last, is -120. The total of 10.5 runs is unusually high, but also remember the thin air of Denver.
Analysis MLB All-Star Game
Some of the best players in the sport will miss the game. Angels outfielder Mike Trout is still recovering from a calf injury that has sidelined him for weeks. He probably won’t be back until late this month. Young Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna was to start for the National League but he tore his ACL on Saturday night against the Marlins.
Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts, the former AL MVP, also is skipping the game. Betts said that an accumulation of “nagging” injuries led to his decision to pass on the All-Star Game. Betts has played through back, shoulder and forearm ailments, among others this season, and appeared in 79 of the Dodgers’ first 91 games. His numbers have taken a hit as well.
“I think it’s just something that I think is going to be best for myself, which, in turn, is going to help the team,” Betts said. “Just some nagging things that I think a little time off will definitely help.”
Every team is supposed to have at least one All-Star. The Houston Astros had four players selected in second baseman Jose Altuve, shortstop Carlos Correa, outfielder Michael Brantley and reliever Ryan Pressly but they all will miss the game. Altuve, Brantley and Correa were player-elected reserves; Pressly was an MLB selection.
Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom, who would have surely been the starting pitcher for the National League, is out. “I’ve thought about it and obviously being named to an All-Star Game is a great honor but I’m just going to take that time and spend it with my family and get healthy for the second half,” deGrom said. He was replaced by teammate Taijuan Walker.
The collective bargaining agreement lists seven reasons All-Stars can miss the game. The relevant provision for a player who is active but declines to participate says he can be excused if “his club advises him to refrain from baseball activities during the All-Star Break to treat a chronic injury or condition and submits (to both the Office of the Commissioner and the Players Association) a certification from his club physician, with supporting medical records, documenting the injury and endorsing the Club’s recommendation, and the Office of the Commissioner approves the Club’s recommendation.”
The NHL suspends players who are healthy but opt to skip its All-Star Game one regular-season game. MLB doesn’t do that.
The managers for the All-Star Game are the managers of the previous season’s World Series teams, meaning the Dodgers’ Dave Roberts for the National League – his third time managing in this game and yet to win it – and the Rays’ Kevin Cash.
Toronto’s Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and the Angels’ Shohei Ohtani highlight the first-timers at this year’s All-Star Game, with both players putting together MVP campaigns. Ohtani became the first player ever named to the ASG as a position player and pitcher. He will start at designated hitter but also pitch in the game. Babe Ruth’s pitching days were largely behind him by the time the All-Star Game started in 1933. Ruth made one pitching appearance that year, the final one of his career on the last day of the season. He last pitched with regularity in 1919.
The National League hasn’t won the All-Star Game since 2012 when it prevailed 8-0 in Kansas City. The other time that Denver hosted was in 1998 when the American League won 13-8. Roberto Alomar was the MVP then. There was no All-Star Game in the shortened 2020 season.Expert pick
- National League 5, American League 4
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