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Justin Verlander, Hyun-Jin Ryu are All-Star starters

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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.

Blake Snell becomes client of Boras Corporation

Blake Snell
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Ken Rosenthal and Josh Tolentino of The Athletic report that Rays starter Blake Snell has switched agencies, going from Apex Baseball to Boras Corporation. Snell is currently signed to a five-year, $50 million contract and will be under contract through 2023.

Snell found himself in hot water two weeks ago when he said on his Twitch stream that he wouldn’t risk his life to play baseball during a pandemic while receiving significantly reduced pay. Some described Snell as tone deaf for saying, “I gotta get my money. I’m not playing unless I get mine, okay?”

Boras represents many of baseball’s highest-paid players, including Gerrit Cole and Bryce Harper. Snell is not likely to win over any of the people he recently irritated by appearing to go after more money by hiring the highest-profile agent. What often goes unsaid is that players have a very limited window in which to use their elite athletic skills to make money.

Snell won the 2018 AL Cy Young Award, going 21-5 with a 1.89 ERA and a 221/64 K/BB ratio over 180 2/3 innings. He did not have nearly the same success last year, going 6-8 with a 4.29 ERA and a 147/40 K/BB ratio in 107 innings.