I know that the starters will only play a few innings, but it is still fun to breakdown the lineups. Here is your position-by-position breakdown of the starters and who has the edge:
LF Mike Trout, Angels
2B Robinson Cano, Yankees
3B Miguel Cabrera, Tigers
1B Chris Davis, Orioles
RF Jose Bautista, Blue Jays
DH David Ortiz, Red Sox
CF Adam Jones, Orioles
C Joe Mauer, Twins
SS J.J. Hardy, Orioles
2B Brandon Phillips, Reds
RF Carlos Beltran, Cardinals
1B Joey Votto, Reds
3B David Wright, Mets
LF Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies
C Yadier Molina, Cardinals
SS Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies
DH Michael Cuddyer, Rockies
CF Bryce Harper, Nationals
While a couple years ago this would have been a different story, these days there is no one quite on Yadier Molina’s level. Not only does he continue to be the best defensive catcher in the game, but his offensive numbers somehow continue to get better with age. Edge NL.
As much as I love Joey Votto, this is a landslide with the 1st half that Chris Davis had. Granted, Davis slowed down a lot towards the end of the half and Votto seemingly never has a slump, but this is based on this year and not the past. Edge AL.
For years now, Robinson Cano has been the best offensive second basemen in the MLB, and this year he is on pace to have the best year of his career. He leads Phillips in pretty much every category there is (except RBI), including errors, and wins this matchup by a landslide. Edge AL.
David Wright is a great first half, but like everyone else, you can’t even compare it to what Miguel Cabrera is doing. Cabrera is the best hitter on the planet and is on pace to hit .365 with 52 HR, 164 RBI, and 103 BB. Sorry, no hometown advantage for Wright here. Edge AL.
Hardy and Tulowitzki have almost identical numbers this year, but the difference is, Tulo has played in 32 less games. I’ve liked Hardy ever since he was in Milwaukee, but Tulo’s OBP and SLG are both over 100 points higher. Edge NL.
This is by far the closest call and two of my favorite players. Both are having great seasons and are very similar as far as stats go. Trout has a better Average, OBP, and more steals, while Cargo has more HR, a better SLG, and more RBI. You could literally flip a coin on this one. Edge NL (just because Cargo is a lefty).
I don’t even think Bryce Harper should be starting this game. He missed a lot of time and his numbers aren’t exactly incredible. For example, he is currently on pace for 49 RBI in 100 games. Jones on the other hand is on pace for 32 HR and 113 RBI. Edge AL.
Beltran and Bautista are very comparable if you look at surface numbers. However, Beltran’s splits with RISP are much better. Much like the rest of the Cardinals, Beltran is hitting .431 with RISP and .444 with 2 outs and runners in scoring position. Meanwhile, Bautista’s splits are .333 and .296. Edge NL.
As amazed as I am at the kind of numbers Cuddyer has been putting up, Big Papi has shocked me even more. While Cuddyer may have the slight edge in average, Ortiz has more HR, RBI, and a higher OBP. Also, don’t forget that Cuddyer plays at Coors field, where he is hitting almost 60 points higher. Edge AL.
As impressive as it is that Scherzer started the year 13-0, Matt Harvey has been even more impressive. Harvey has a better ERA, WHIP, and BAA than Scherzer, while going 7-2 (5 times received a no decision while giving up 1 run or less) for a brutally bad Mets team. Edge NL.
Follow me on twitter @Cole_Stevenson to see who I am picking to win the game (or just to tell me how wrong I am)