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Astros Dallas Keuchel Named AL Starting Pitcher for All Star Game

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On Monday morning at a press conference in Cincinnati, Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost announced that the ace of your Houston Astros, Dallas Keuchel, would be the starting pitcher for the American League in the 86th Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

This much-anticipated announcement came to the surprise of Keuchel, who said, “I was able to tell my family but couldn’t really tell many more…I never expected this…it’s truly an honor.” Many reporters had asked Keuchel during the last few weeks about the possibility of him being the starter. He always said that there were other pitchers like Sonny Gray, Chris Sale, and Chris Archer that were more deserving than he was. He took a very nonchalant approach to the whole matter, never really endorsing himself and always complimenting the other candidates around the league.

Fortunately for Dallas, the American League staff and other players thought he was very deserving, and now he’ll be the first Astros pitcher to start the All-Star Game since Roger Clemens in 2004. We all know from last week that Keuchel had earned the respect of his peers around the league, as he received the most player votes by any pitcher to get into the game. Ned Yost did not shove this fact aside, using it as an important factor in his decision.

Keuchel will join his Astros teammate Jose Altuve in the bottom of the first inning tomorrow night when the American League squad takes the field. The two Astros starters will be a very cool sight to see for Astros fans, as the team hasn’t had two All-Star game starters take the field together in a very long time. It was also announced today that Jose Altuve will hit in the eight spot for the American League and play second base (no surprise). Altuve definitely isn’t used to hitting that far down in the order, but these things happen in the All-Star game.

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It was noted this morning as well that Keuchel and his NL counterpart, Zack Greinke, are the MLB leaders in WAR for pitchers. Greinke’s WAR is 5.5 while Keuchel possesses a 4.7 WAR at the break. Looking at the other statistics, Greinke has an 8-2 record with a 1.39 ERA (ridiculous!) and a 0.84 WHIP while Keuchel owns an 11-4 record with a 2.23 ERA and 114 strikeouts. (Baseball-Reference)

No one knows how deep into the game Ned Yost plans to use Keuchel. My best guess is that he pitches two complete innings before going to another pitcher. In case he gets to pitch through the entire NL lineup, here’s the order that he will be facing:

This game will definitely be a test for the Astros ace, but if you are a fan of Dallas Keuchel, you know that he will be great tomorrow night and do his part to lead the American League to victory. It takes a really special pitcher to be able to start in your first All-Star appearance, and the Astros Dallas Keuchel is that special pitcher.

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