MLB standings for the second full week of July are much the same as the first week. The Boston Red Sox are leading the American League East (barely surpassing the Yankees), while the Detroit Tigers are edging over Cleveland in Central, and Texas is inching its way past Los Angeles. In the National League East, Philadelphia is dominating Atlanta (and every other team in the league), while Milwaukee is tied with St. Louis in Central, and San Francisco is pushing back Arizona in the West.
We are now close to the All-Star Game, and some players have already guaranteed their appearance. Pablo Sandoval of San Francisco hit an RBI double (and has a streak of 21 on his site) to ensure inclusion, while Andre Ethier of Los Angeles hit two home runs, qualifying for his second straight All-Star Game. Other team members going to the game include Andrew McCutchen of Pittsburgh, Jordan Zimmermann of Washington, and Justin Verlander of Kansas City.
However, many fans view the All-Star Game as a pleasant distraction, and one not necessarily tied to the overall season or the World Series. One individual everyone is watching is Miguel Montero of Arizona, who may very well help the MLB National League West score an All-Star victory. In fact, the prevailing prediction this year is that the NL has the advantage, 3-1 against the AL, which has suffered some significant losses this season. Predicted MVP winners include Miguel Montero, as well as hot home run hitters like Jose Bautista and Curtis Granderson.
At least 16 major players will be absent from the All-Star game, and some of the players that will be there are actually replacement players, as opposed to All-Stars. Big names like Alex Rodriguez, Mariano Rivera, David Price and Derek Jeter are on the injured list, while quality players like CC Sabathia, Felix Hernandez and Matt Cain are ineligible to play.
This will definitely be an unpredictable game. If anything, this coming game will be an opportune time for a “replacement player” to make a name for himself in front of the entire nation and Fox Sports fans. The game will take place on July 12, 2011 at the Chase Field Stadium in Phoenix, Arizona. It may turn out to be a predictor of the World Series, or may prove to be just another MLB game. Either way, you know we’re going to be watching!