Unbiased Biases: 2016 MLB All-Star Game Preview
Who: Major League Baseball
What: MLB All-Star Game
Where: Petco Park, San Diego, California
When: 8:00PM EST
After a stirring rendition of the Home Run Derby last night, congratulations to Giancarlo Stanton on his epic win, now all eyes turn to the MLB All-Star Game in San Diego. Of course, the MLB adopted the 'it matters' motto for their mid-season festivities in 2003, meaning that the winner, either the American or National League, will have home-field advantage in the World Series. So, now, instead of lackadaisical play, soft pitches down the middle, or half-hearted efforts, we're treated to a hard-fought, important baseball game. In this case, this means that the starting pitchers are more influential than ever. Tonight, the San Francisco Giants' Johnny Cueto will face off against the Chicago White Sox's Chris Sale in an attempt to set the tone right out of the gates. The AL has won three in row and 15 of the last 20 against their NL rivals, but will the sluggers -- Bryce Harper, Kris Bryant, and Buster Posey -- be up to change the tide?
While much of the National League is made up of Chicago Cubs -- they currently have 53 wins and lead the Central Division -- they'll look to Carlos Gonzalez and Wil Myers, the hometown hero, to clear some bases alongside Harper. The American League lineup is loaded with Red Sox, despite Boston's recent struggles, as they'll field Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Xander Bogaerts, and David Ortiz -- in what will be the historic slugger's final season.
(Did you miss last night's Home Run Derby? No worries, we've got you covered!)
"Ortiz will be making his seventh All-Star Game start, one of four Red Sox players to do so. The only Red Sox player with more is Hall of Famer Ted Williams with 12. The other three, Williams, Wade Boggs and Carl Yastrzemski, have all had their number retired by the Red Sox." -- Dan McCarthy, ESPN
"This is the 87th All-Star game. [Mike] Trout last year became the first man named most valuable player in back-to-back years. If he is so honored again Tuesday, he would become the first three-time MVP in All-Star history, consecutively or otherwise. He is so good that he stole the spotlight from Derek Jeter two years ago. Jeter was retiring. Jeter doubled. Jeter singled. Trout was the MVP." -- Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times
"The leading vote-getter, the Cubs’ first baseman is in San Diego this week as a three-time All-Star, the author of back-to-back 30-homer seasons and an NL-best 1.006 OPS. Much to the chagrin of San Diegans buying tickets to this week’s festivities, [Anthony] Rizzo’s 38-homer, 115-RBI pace is the sort of stuff they dreamed of when the Padres promoted Rizzo 52 games into stay in the organization in 2011." -- Jeff Sanders, San Diego Union-Tribune
With the games just hours away, who do you think will win? What about the MVP Award? Can Trout pull off something that's never been done before, or will somebody else rise up in his stead? Either way, we've got an exciting night ahead, so spend it with us @CoachUp on Twitter!