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On Tuesday night, the All-Stars of both the American League and National League duke it out in 2010 MLB All-Star betting festivities.
2010 MLB All-Star Game
Tuesday, July 13th
8:05 ET, Angel Stadium, Anaheim, CA
National League Notes: The roster that manager Charlie Manuel has to work with is chock full of great pitchers. After most likely using Colorado Rockies RHP Ubaldo Jimenez, men like St. Louis Cardinals RHPs Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright, Florida Marlins RHP Josh Johnson, and Philadelphia Phillies RHP Roy Halladay will all be available. Late in games, both Los Angeles Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton and San Diego Padres closer Heath Bell are available, while arguably the best setup man in the game right now, Cincinnati Reds LHP Arthur Rhodes will also most likely be called upon. Offensively, there are certainly a slew of guys capable of mashing the ball available on the roster. Just at first base alone, Albert Pujols, Adrian Gonzalez, and Joey Votto are available, while Ryan Howard will be starting the game as the designated hitter. There isn't a ton of speed on the team, but adding both Milwaukee Brewers bash brothers, Ryan Braun and Corey Hart to the starting nine could be huge as well for the NL. The only player from the NL West aside from Jimenez that will be starting for the National League is Los Angeles Dodgers OF Andre Ethier. Ethier is going to have to shift to center field to accommodate the significantly slower Braun and Hart in the outfield, and if the NL isn't careful, defense could become a massive problem. There really aren't any fantastic fielders on this team in the outfield. There is also a significant shortage of left-handed arms in the bullpen, and against a lefty-stacked AL lineup, that could be a major issue as well.
American League Notes: The AL doesn't quite have the pitching staff of the National League, but it does have a solid core from top to bottom. LHP David Price will become the first pitcher for the Tampa Bay Rays to start the All-Star Game on the hill. He will also be the youngest man to toe the rubber for the first pitch of the game since Doc Gooden, who is the only man younger than Price to ever start an All-Star Game. A slew of southpaws are going to be available for manager Joe Girardi, as Fausto Carmona, Andy Pettitte, Jon Lester, and Cliff Lee are all available. The bullpen also has some major relief arms as well to turn to, especially those of Andrew Bailey and Trevor Cahill. Closers are in full force for the American League All-Stars to boot, as Girardi can call upon Kansas City Royals closer Joakim Soria, Tampa Bay Rays closer Rafael Soriano, or Detroit Tigers closer Jose Valverde to shut the door if need be. Offensively, the perfect mix of speed, power, and average are in the starting lineup. OF Ichiro Suzuki, SS Derek Jeter, and OF Carl Crawford all have the ability to get moving on the bases in a hurry, while sluggers like DH Vladimir Guerrero, Evan Longoria, and Miguel Cabrera are all major home run threats. With big bats like 1B Paul Konerko, OF Nick Swisher, and DH David Ortiz waiting in the dugout to get their hacks at the plate, Girardi certainly has a ton of ammo at his disposal.
The Final Word: The National League hasn't won this game since 1996, and this doesn't appear to be the year that anything is going to change. All of the arms that the NL team has to offer are nice, but when the lefty firepower of the AL comes to bat, are there really going to be any answers? We tend to believe not. When push comes to shove, it'll be the American League sewing up home field advantage for the winners of their league once again with a comfortable victory over the NL All-Stars.
Prediction: American League -120