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Chris Sale to start the All-Star Game

A well-deserved honor

Texas Rangers v Boston Red Sox Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

The All-Star Game is, of course, tomorrow night. The Red Sox will have five representatives in the game, and we won’t have to wait long to see three of them. One of those three is Chris Sale, and we found out that the Red Sox ace will be getting the start for the American League. This is a well-deserved honor, as the lefty has been great once again in 2018. Through his first twenty starts this year, Sale has pitched to a 2.23 ERA with a 2.19 FIP and a 1.83 DRA. That last number is an all-encompassing pitching metric from Baseball Prospectus, and for some perspective it is 59 percent better than the league-average after being adjusted for park factors. It is, to put it more simply, Very Good.

Sale getting the start is not a huge surprise, though it wasn’t necessarily a slam dunk. He has some real competition at the top of the American League. Part of the decision was taken out of manager A.J. Hinch’s hands as Justin Verlander and Trevor Bauer both pitched for their teams on Sunday, taking them out of the running for this game. That essentially left it between Sale and Luis Severino. The Yankees ace has been outstanding this year and likely has some All-Star starts in his future, but Sale edged him out in just about every metric and got the start. This will be his third straight start for the American League, making him the first pitcher to get this honor three years in a row in over 60 years.

Sale won’t be the only one to be in the starting lineup either. As we already knew, both Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez were voted into the game as starters on the A.L. side. The Red Sox are the only team in baseball with two starters on the position player side of things. Betts is going to bat leadoff and play right field for the American League, while Martinez will hit cleanup and slot in as the designated hitter. The full lineups are as follows.

All-Star Game Lineups

Lineup Spot American League National League
Lineup Spot American League National League
1 Mookie Betts, RF Javier Baez, 2B
2 Jose Altuve, 2B Nolan Arenado, 3B
3 Mike Trout, CF Paul Goldschmidt, DH
4 J.D. Martinez, DH Freddie Freeman, 1B
5 Jose Ramirez, 3B Matt Kemp, LF
6 Aaron Judge, LF Bryce Harper, CF
7 Manny Machado, SS Nick Markakis, RF
8 Jose Abreu, 1B Brandon Crawford, SS
9 Salvador Perez, C Willson Contreras, C
SP Chris Sale, LHP Max Scherzer, RHP

Obviously, both of these lineups are incredibly talented — it’s the All-Star Game! — but that American League group is bananas. Mitch Moreland and Craig Kimbrel are also All-Stars, and they will give you a reason to keep watching through the end of the game.