On Tuesday, July 17, Major League Baseball's biggest stars and most exciting players will gather at Nationals Park for the 89th annual All-Star Game. The All-Star festivities begin with the Futures Game on Sunday, July 15, and the Home Run Derby on Monday, July 16.. The Home Run Derby participants will be announced this coming week.
Sunday night rosters for the 2018 MLB All-Star Game will be announced during a live ESPN broadcast. . We here at CBS Sports will of course have wall-to-wall coverage of the All-Star rosters and selection process. Here are seven things to know leading up to the 2018 All-Star Game rosters announcement.
The All-Star Game no longer counts
Thankfully, the All-Star Game no longer determines home field advantage in the World Series. This is the second year the two events have been disconnected. As part of the current collective bargaining agreement, MLB and the MLBPA agreed home-field advantage in the World Series should go to the team with the better regular season record. The All-Star Game is, once again, a meaningless exhibition. The only thing on the line is bragging rights.
Fan voting for the All-Star Game starters has closed
Want to vote for the All-Star Game starting position players? It's too late. Voting closed last Thursday.:
|POS.||American League||National League|
Ozzie Albies, Braves
Brandon Crawford, Giants
Nick Markakis, Braves
J.D. Martinez, Red Sox
As of the final voting update, eight different teams were in line to be represented in the AL All-Star Game starting lineup, which would be a record.
The managers get to make the batting order though
The All-Star managers, Astros skipper A.J. Hinch and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, will of course get to decide the batting order for the All-Star Game. Fans pick the players and Hinch and Roberts will line them up. Also, Roberts gets to pick the National League starting DH. The NL manager typically picks a player with ties to the hometown team. Padres outfielder Wil Myers was tabbed as the DH when the All-Star Game was in San Diego's Petco Park in 2016, for example.
The All-Star Game is in Nationals Park this season and Harper was leading the fan voting as of the final update, so he'll likely be in the starting lineup as an outfielder. Will any other Nationals position players be selected for the game? If yes, I'd bet on one starting at DH. Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto are All-Star candidates. If no other Nationals position player makes the All-Star roster, Roberts could tab one of his Dodgers players at DH. Everyone ready for Max Muncy, starting All-Star Game DH?
The All-Star Game rosters are smaller now
For the second straight season, each league's All-Star Game roster will feature 32 players: 12 pitchers and 20 position players. The rosters used to run 34 players deep, but now that the All-Star Game no longer decides home-field advantage in the World Series, the two teams won't need the extra rosters spots to carry specialists, like a versatile utility player or an extra reliever.
Most of the All-Stars are picked by the players
There are 32 players on the All-Star Game rosters and most of them selected through player voting. Ballots have already been collected from all 30 big-league clubhouses and counted. Here is the roster selection breakdown:
|American League||National League|
Fan voting for starters
Final Vote ballot
Some players will be replaced on the All-Star Game rosters
Inevitably, some players will be forced to skip the All-Star Game due to injury. Also, pitchers who start the Sunday before the All-Star Game are ineligible to pitch in the All-Star Game itself, and will be replaced on the roster. Those Sunday starters are still All-Stars and will be in attendance at the game. They just aren't on the active roster.
We already know one pitcher who won't be available for the All-Star Game: Justin Verlander. Hinch said he is starting next Sunday and therefore won't be able to pitch in the All-Star Game.
Hinch said Justin Verlander won't pitch in the All-Star Game. He will throw in the Sunday before the ASG.— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) July 3, 2018
In addition to Verlander, other potential All-Stars tentatively scheduled to start next Sunday include Phillies ace Aaron Nola, Indians righty Trevor Bauer, Braves lefty Sean Newcomb, and Diamondbacks lefty Patrick Corbin. Any Sunday starter is replaced on the All-Star Game active roster by the next man up on the players' ballot.
Yes, every team needs an All-Star
There has never not been a rule. As always, every single team must have at least one player in the All-Star Game. And now that it's a meaningless exhibition no longer tied to home-field advantage in the World Series, I have no problem with this whatsoever. It didn't make much sense to carry less than deserving players when the All-Star Game counted. Now that it doesn't count, give fans of every team a reason to tune in. All 30 clubs will be represented at the All-Star Game.