MLB: All-Star Predictions Using MLB The Show

MLB

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The MLB All-Star Game is arguably the most revered out of all of the big four American sports. With league bragging rights at stake, it is important that the right players make the team.

Like we have with our playoff predictions, we are going to use the popular video game franchise MLB The Show to predict next season’s All-Stars. The rosters being used are completely up to date, even with recent signings of Chase Utley and company. Therefore, the rosters and ratings for every team should be completely accurate. It should be noted too that players do receive downgrades or upgrades based on performance, so these aren’t the stats before the season. So, let’s use MLB The Show in order to predict who will travel to Miami for this year’s All-Star Game.

All-Star Reserves

Both the American League and National League had some interesting players that made the All-Star reserves. Some because they aren’t All-Stars in real life, and others because they would likely be starting. The National League reserves are: Travis d’Arnaud, Chris Iannetta, Paul Goldschmidt, Wil Myers, Cesar Hernandez, Nolan Arenado, Eugenio Suarez, Dansby Swanson, Yoenis Cespedes, Jon Jay, Dexter Fowler and Andrew McCutchen.

Notable players in the National League are Chris Iannetta and Eugenio Suarez, both not exactly shouting “All-Star.” In the simulation Iannetta batted .303 with six home runs and 31 runs batted in at the break, while Suarez hit .232 with eight home runs and 24 runs batted in. I am not quite sure how Suarez qualifies.

Nice inclusions for the reserves are youngsters Cesar Hernandez and Dansby Swanson, marking the first appearance for both men.

As for the American League, the reserves are as following: Welington Castillo, Russell Martin, C.J. Cron, Eric Hosmer, Brian Dozier, Brad Miller, Todd Frazier, Francisco Lindor, Adam Jones, George Springer, Mookie Betts and Jose Bautista. Surprises here for me are definitely Cron and Miller, as they don’t shout All-Star. However, Cron batted .352 with 19 home runs and Miller batted .264 with 10 home runs, so I can see it. A bigger surprise here for me was Mookie Betts, as he is arguably the second best player in baseball, yet here a back-up to a questionable selection.

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Pitchers

The pitchers for this All-Star Game were somewhat believable, as one side had realistic selections while the other was surprising. The more conventional side, being the National League, boasted Max Scherzer (starter), Tanner Roark, Clayton Kershaw, Madison Bumgarner, Michael Wacha, Brad Ziegler, Mark Melancon, Tony Watson, A.J. Ramos, Kenley Jansen, Shawn Kelley, and Brandon Maurer. The only surprising pick here, for me, would have to be Tanner Roark being the second pitcher selected. However, Roark’s numbers did back it up as he held an 8-4 record with a 2.15 ERA.

As for the American League, well, that was definitely less conventional. The American League squad consisted of Sonny Gray (starter), Corey Kluber, Anibal Sanchez, Hisashi Iwakuma, Mike Fiers, Andrew Miller, Ken Giles, Sam Dyson, David Robertson, Huston Street, Kelvin Herrera, and Roberto Osuna. How in the world Iwakuma, Sanchez and Fiers made the team over other notable arms, I have no idea. However, their in-game stats were respectable.

Sanchez racked together a 8-5 record with a 2.11 ERA and 132 strikeouts, being far better than his real life 5.87 ERA counterpart. Iwakuma and Fiers both put together great records that helped solidify their spots on the team. Iwakuma went 10-2 and Fiers 10-3, with the two holding 2.69 and 2.81 ERAs, respectively.

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Starters

National League:

American League:

For the most part, both of these teams are very formidable and would make great All-Star teams. There were some shockers, however, those being Miguel Montero, Ryan Braun, Miguel Sano and Nelson Cruz. I wouldn’t call Brantley a shocker as he was an MVP candidate before his injuries, but this quartet of players did surprise me. Each of the players actually did great, though, with Ryan Braun being the most impressive with his league-leading .361 batting average.

As for Nelson Cruz, well, I cannot justify his inclusion. My only guess is because there is no designated hitter selection for the game, and with right field being his second position he secured the spot. While he did have better numbers in-game, I would not expect Cruz to beat out Mookie Betts for the staring right field position next year.

As for the most impressive players at the break, Cruz shined, and the Cubs duo of Bryant and Rizzo made a statement. Both Bryant and Rizzo slugged 30 home runs, Bryant with 75 runs batted in and Rizzo with 87. However, Bryant dominated in batting average with a .350 mark compared to Rizzo’s .285. Then there is C.J. Cron with his .352 average and 19 home runs, Sano’s 25 long bombs, and Trout doing Trout things with 24 home runs and 61 runs batted in.

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