For the first time since 1980, the Midsummer Classic returns to Dodger Stadium, as the American League (46-43 all-time) looks to extend its winning streak over the National League to nine straight at the 92nd annual Major League Baseball All-Star Game.
Tampa Bay first-time All-Star Shane McClanahan (10-3, 1.71 ERA, 2.41 FIP) gets the ball for the Junior Circuit, the first Rays pitcher to receive the honor since David Price back in 2010. The sophomore left-hander has been absolutely electric this season, as he leads the AL in ERA and K%, ranks second in FIP and fWAR, and is fourth in BB%. While I’m sure that Yankees fans would have loved to see Gerrit Cole or Nestor Cortes get the nod, and it certainly would have been entertaining, there’s no arguing that McClanahan deserves the honor. (Especially since Shohei Ohtani indicated that he would like to avoid pitching.)
Opposing him will be a legend, the nine-time All-Star, three-time Cy Young Award winner, and 2014 NL MVP Clayton Kershaw (7-2, 2.13 ERA, 2.47 FIP), who despite his lengthy resume will be starting the Midsummer Classic for the first time tonight. When he takes the mound in the top of the first, he’ll be the first pitcher to make the start in his home ballpark since Max Scherzer back in 2018 with the Nationals. Kershaw is now in his age-34 season, and the 15-year veteran continues to be one of the game’s premier pitchers.
The Yankees will be well-represented tonight. Aaron Judge, manning his original right field, bats second in AL/Houston skipper Dusty Baker’s lineup, while Giancarlo Stanton will bat fifth and play left field; between them will be a pair of division rivals: Rafael Devers and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Although he’s not in the starting lineup, catcher Jose Trevino will certainly find himself behind the plate late in the game, and depending on what the plan for the pitching staff is, he may find himself catching pitches from Cortes or Clay Holmes.
The real story of the night, however, could prove to be Cortes, who said to reporters this weekend that he was planning to go “completely rogue” on the mound. What exactly that means remains to be seen, but if his number gets called, it seems like we’re in for a treat.
How to watch
Location: Dodger Stadium — Los Angeles, CA
First pitch: 8:00 pm ET
TV broadcast: FOX
Radio broadcast: ESPN Radio
Online stream: MLB.tv (internationally)