All-Star Game managers Alex Cora and Dave Roberts announced their starting pitchers for tomorrow night’s Midsummer Classic: Justin Verlander of the Houston Astros will go for the American League and Hyun-Jin Ryu of the Dodgers will go for the Senior Circuit.
Verlander is 10-4 with a 2.98 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 153/27 in 126.2 innings across 19 starts so far this year. This year marks the eighth time he’s been selected as an All-Star and his second time starting it. His last All-Star start was not so great. In 2012 he got the nod and got shelled, allowing five runs on four hits and walking two batters in one inning of work. No doubt that, in light of that, he’ll have a bit more motivation to address the one part of his legacy that is lacking, even if it’s a very minor part. He’s just wired that way, I suspect.
Ryu is a first-time All-Star in 2019 and, with a nod of respect to Max Scherzer, who is not available to pitch tomorrow, his start is certainly well-deserved. He leads the NL in wins with 10 and in ERA with a 1.73 mark. He likewise leads the league in WHIP (0.908), has issued the fewest walks per nine innings of work (0.8) and has the best K/BB ratio going (9.90).
As is always the case, starting the All-Star Game is more about the honor than it is about game outcome. Each starter will get one inning, two if they’re efficient. The outcome of the game will almost certainly hinge on the performance of relievers.