Kudos to Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash! Also the manager of the American League All-Star team for Tuesday's matchup at Coors Field in Denver, Cash has given MLB fans exactly what they wanted: Angels star Shohei Ohtani as not only the AL's starting pitcher but also its leadoff hitter. National League skipper Dave Roberts of the Dodgers named three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer of the Nationals as his starting pitcher. The Senior Circuit is a slight -111 favorite at William Hill Sportsbook with a big total of 10.5 runs.
Ohtani is the first player in major-league history to be selected for an All-Star Game as both a hitter and a pitcher. He leads the majors with 33 homers and is 4-1 with a 3.49 ERA in 13 starts on the mound. Pitchers don't hit in the ASG so he will be the designated hitter as a batter. Cash was given the OK by Angels manager Joe Maddon to play Ohtani as a hitter and a pitcher.
"This is what the fans want to see," Cash said. "We will be allowed to use Shohei as two players. He will start as pitcher and then transfer over to DH. I begged MLB for the chance to do this."
William Hill hasn't released All-Star Game MVP odds as of this writing, but it's fair to say that Ohtani will be the betting favorite. He's also the favorite and top seed for Monday's Home Run Derby.
Scherzer was an injury replacement on the NL team and is 7-4 with a 2.66 ERA. It's his fourth All-Star Game start and his eighth straight appearance in the game. Scherzer got the win in the 2014 game for the American League while he was with the Detroit Tigers. The AL is on a seven-game winning streak in the Midsummer Classic.
Starting pitchers usually don't go more than two innings in the All-Star Game if even that long. In the last All-Star Game in 2019, Houston's Justin Verlander and the Dodgers' Hyun Jin Ryu (now with Toronto) both went just an inning.
1. Shohei Ohtani, DH/P, Angels
2. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 1B, Blue Jays
3. Xander Boagerts, SS, Red Sox
4. Aaron Judge, RF, Yankees
5. Rafael Devers, 3B, Red Sox
6. Marcus Semien, 2B, Blue Jays
7. Salvador Perez, C, Royals
8. Teoscar Hernandez, LF, Blue Jays
9. Cedric Mullins, CF, Orioles (for injured Mike Trout)
1. Fernando Tatis Jr., SS, Padres
2. Max Muncy, DH, Dodgers
3. Nolan Arenado, 3B, Cardinals
4. Freddie Freeman, 1B, Braves
5. Nick Castellanos, RF, Reds
6. Jesse Winker, LF, Reds
7. J.T. Realmuto, C, Phillies (for injured Buster Posey)
8. Bryan Reynolds, CF, Pirates (for injured Ronald Acuña Jr.)
9. Adam Frazier, 2B, Pirates
Pitcher: Max Scherzer, RHP, Nationals
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