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Max Scherzer, Chris Sale to start the All-Star Game

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The starting pitchers and starting lineups for the All-Star Game have been announced. There aren’t a ton of surprises.

Max Scherzer will start for the National League. This was an easy choice for Cubs manager Joe Maddon given that the only other possible choice, Clayton Kershaw, is unavailable due to pitching yesterday. Scherzer, the defending NL Cy Young Award winner ranks first in the National League in ERA, WHIP, and strikeouts and has looked like a threat to toss a no-hitter for most of the year.

The Red Sox’ Chris Sale gets the nod for the AL. It’s his second straight year as the All-Star starter, doing so last year for the White Sox. Sale has posted a 2.75 ERA over 18 starts and he leads the majors with 178 strikeouts.

Here’s the National League lineup:

1. Charlie Blackmon CF
2. Giancarlo Stanton DH
3. Bryce Harper RF
4. Buster Posey C
5. Daniel Murphy 2B
6. Nolan Arenado 3B
7. Ryan Zimmerman 1B
8. Marcell Ozuna LF
9. Zack Cozart SS

For the American League:

1. Jose Altuve 2B
2. Jose Ramirez 3B
3. Aaron Judge RF
4. George Springer LF
5. Carlos Correa SS
6. Justin Smoak 1B
7. Corey Dickerson DH
8. Salvador Perez C
9. Mookie Betts CF

Of course, do not expect either of these lineups to last long. Both Maddon and AL manager Brad Mills — filling in for Terry Francona, who is recovering from a heart procedure — said today that, given that this is now a pure exhibition with no World Series home field advantage considerations, they will try to get all players on the roster into the game. Expect heavy substitutions and, as is often the case, the game to be decided by the benches.

Here are the entire All-Star rosters.

Report: Blue Jays and Marco Estrada nearing agreement on contract extension

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Jon Morosi reports that the Blue Jays and starter Marco Estrada are nearing an agreement on a contract extension. The deal is expected to be for one guaranteed year, Morosi adds.

Estrada, 34, was set to become a free agent after the season. He earned $26 million on a two-year contract signed with the Jays in November 2015. While the right-hander has a subpar 4.84 ERA on the season, he has a solid 170/67 K/BB ratio in 176 2/3 innings and has looked much better since the end of July. Between July 31 and his most recent start on Saturday, Estrada owns a 3.75 ERA.

J.A. Happ is the only other starter technically under contract with the Jays next season. Marcus Stroman will be eligible for his second year of arbitration and the Jays will certainly agree to give him a raise on his $3.4 million salary for the 2017 season. The Jays will likely be active this offseason in adding rotation help and they’re starting early by locking up Estrada.

Video: Jackie Bradley, Jr. robs Chris Davis of a home run

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Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. robbed Orioles first baseman Chris Davis of his 25th home run on Tuesday evening, leaping at the fence in center field to make the catch and keep the game scoreless in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Davis swung at the first pitch he saw from Drew Pomeranz, a slider that crossed the middle of the plate.

This game has potential playoff implications, as the first-place Red Sox hold a three-game lead over the Yankees in the NL East. Meanwhile, the Orioles are still in the AL Wild Card race, trailing the Twins by 5.5 games for the second Wild Card slot.