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Braves will host 2021 All-Star Game

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As expected, the Braves will host the 2021 All-Star Game at SunTrust Park, the club announced on Wednesday. The Indians are hosting this year’s midsummer festivities and the Dodgers will next year ahead of the Braves. The Phillies have been announced as the host of the 2026 All-Star Game for the U.S. semiquincentennial.

The Braves last hosted the All-Star Game in 2000 at Turner Field, a game which the American League won 6-3 over the National League. That was the fourth game of a 13-game streak in which the National League did not beat the American League. (The A.L. won 12 of those games with the other famously ending in an 11-inning tie.)

The likely All-Stars from the Braves this year include Freddie Freeman, Mike Soroka, and Ronald Acuña Jr. Josh Donaldson and Max Fried could also find their way onto the team.

It will be interesting to see how Major League Baseball handles the Tomahawk Chop during the All-Star Game fetivities. The league encouraged the Indians to get rid of Chief Wahoo, which it finally did, mostly. Commissioner Rob Manfred suggested in February that it was good that the Braves distanced themselves from mascot Chief Noc-A-Homa, a mascot that was discontinued after the 1986 season. It would follow that Manfred would also think it good if the Chop became no more. While Manfred can’t forbid fans from doing the Chop, he can instruct the Braves not to encourage fans to start it at least. It’s a whole thing that could’ve been avoided if the league had been more proactive on this front a long time ago.

Lucas Giolito earns second shutout of season

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The Twins have arguably baseball’s scariest offense. Their average of 5.87 runs per game is second only to the Yankees (5.90) while leading the league in slugging percentage (.501), OPS (.840), and home runs (244). White Sox starter Lucas Giolito made their offense look impotent on Wednesday, blanking them over nine innings for his second shutout of the season. The White Sox won 4-0.

Giolito allowed just three hits and walked none while fanning 12 batters over his nine innings of work. He’s now 14-6 with a 3.20 ERA and a 194/51 K/BB ratio in 151 2/3 innings on the season. Giolito is very much in the AL Cy Young Award picture. The Astros’ Justin Verlander leads the league in ERA at 2.81. A strong finish to the season for Giolito could certainly see his ERA dip below 3.00.

As mentioned, Wednesday’s shutout was Giolito’s second of the season. He and the Indians’ Shane Bieber are the only pitchers with multiple shutouts this season. They are two of only 21 pitchers with a shutout.