And the All-Star Game starting lineups are …

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In addition to the starting pitchers — Roy Halladay and Jered Weaver if you had not heard — we now have All-Star Game starting lineups too.  As follows:

American League

1. Curtis Granderson CF
2. Asdrubal Cabrera SS
3. Adrian Gonzalez 1B
4. Jose Bautista RF
5. Josh Hamilton LF
6. Adrian Beltre 3B
7. David Ortiz DH
8. Robinson Cano 2B
9. Alex Avila C

National League

1. Rickie Weeks 2B
2. Carlos Beltran DH
3. Matt Kemp CF
4. Prince Fielder 1B
5. Brian McCann C
6. Lance Berkman RF
7. Matt Holliday LF
8. Troy Tulowitzki SS
9. Scott Rolen 3B

We have a choice here. We can sit and analyze these lineups for their relative strengths and weaknesses, or we can acknowledge that by the time you get a quarter of the way into your bowl of popcorn, there will have been a dozen substitutions and all reason and order will have abandoned your scorecard.

This game will likely be decided by All-Star number 78 or something, so don’t get too hung up on the starters.

Cardinals tab Miles Mikolas for Opening Day start

Miles Mikolas
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The Cardinals have selected right-hander Miles Mikolas as their Opening Day starter, the club revealed Saturday. It’ll mark the first career Opening Day start for Mikolas, who is scheduled to go up against the Brewers when the team hits the road on March 28.

The 29-year-old righty was a strong contender for the 2018 NL Cy Young Award, earning All-Star distinctions and pitching to a career-best 18-4 record with a 2.83 ERA, 1.3 BB/9, 6.5 SO/9, and 4.3 fWAR over 200 2/3 innings. He’s positioned to lead the Cardinals rotation in 2019 as well, with former Opening Day starters Carlos Martínez and Adam Wainwright and some combination of right-handers Jack Flaherty, Michael Wacha, Alex Reyes, and John Gant behind him.

Manager Mike Shildt told reporters that Flaherty, Wacha, Wainwright, and Martínez had all been considered for the honor, but admitted that Opening Day honors were ultimately handed to Mikolas “in recognition of [his performance] last year.” The Cardinals are scheduled to play a four-game set against the Brewers to start the season and will stop over in Pittsburgh for another two games before returning to St. Louis for their opening homestand against the Padres on April 4. Additional pitching assignments have yet to be announced.