Astros baseball will be front and center at the 2017 All-Star game.
The All-Star game doesn’t count anymore towards home field advantage in the World Series, winning the game is not as important. There is a matter of pride, but most players come to represent their teams in an exhibition game. The Astros will have six players suit up for the American League, but only five will be eligible to play.
Dallas Keuchel got selected to the team but wasn’t eligible to play as he is currently on the DL. He is 9-0 with a 1.67 ERA while striking out 69 batters in 75 2/3 innings. Keuchel threw a bullpen on Sunday and the Astros hope he can begin rehab soon. The expectation is that he will throw two games before returning to the rotation.
Let’s hope that Keuchel has a good seat where he doesn’t get a crick in his neck to cheer the H-Town boys on. Chris Sale is getting the start for the AL. But interim manager Brad Mills said that he’s counting on Lance McCullers eating up two innings near the end of the game. This is McCullers first All-Star appearance and probably not his last.
While McCullers power curve is leading to his success, Chris Devenski relies on his sick changeup. Devenski went from not being protected in the Rule 5 draft to being an All-Star. Devenski has pitched a lot lately, so I wouldn’t be too sad if he doesn’t pitch.
As for the hitters, Jose Altuve will lead off for the AL team for the second year in a row. While the best leadoff hitter in the game George Springer bats cleanup. Springer bats behind the next best thing in baseball, Aaron Judge. MLB is pumping up this kid and you have to wonder if he’s due to regress in the second half.
Carlos Correa finds himself batting behind Springer for the first time this year. While you didn’t expect Mills to trot out an identical lineup to the Astros, this is an interesting ordering. Maybe the Astros should consider leading off Altuve. Just kidding, why fix something that isn’t broken?
The Astros have a franchise record six players selected to the 2017 All-Star team. With the core players they have, the same six could be back next year. Despite the criticism that Alex Bregman has received, he could be a new name next year. Enjoy tonight and don’t fret those who are not here. This is Astros baseball, star power!
***Stats by Baseball-Reference***