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2018 All-Star watch: Pitchers spotlight

2018 MLB All-Star pitchers

As the All-Stars ballots remain open for business, fans get to take part in a voting process that is fun. All-Star voting also gives fans a chance to support their favorite players. But only one position does not receive votes like the rest do: the pitcher.

But why? Well, for a position so scrutinized, selecting the best aces of the year calls for more analysis than just voting numbers.

Regardless of the reasons why this is, some aces are making a strong case for making the All-Star rosters. The 2018 All-Star festivities are still weeks away. But this latest pitchers spotlight will showcase some of the biggest and brightest names from the mound this season.

American League

2018 MLB All-Star pitchers
Verlander currently has the lowest ERA in baseball. (Photo from the Los Angeles Times)

There are so many great choices to pick from as the American League starter on the mound. With Houston boasting the best pitching unit in baseball, it would be stupid to not mention an Astro in this conversation. Justin Verlander is easily one of the first names to pop up. Verlander boasts the lowest ERA in the big leagues. His 8-2 record and .157 opponent batting average is also impressive and a big part of Houston’s pitching dominance.

The Cleveland Indians have a comfortable lead in the AL Central. One of several reasons why is their 32-year-old ace, Corey Kluber. Kluber currently rocks a 1.99 ERA and 10-2 record in 2018. Now in his eighth season, Kluber has shown substantial improvement throughout his career. Not to mention he has two AL Cy Young Awards under his belt. Kluber will no doubt make an appearance on the diamond for this year’s All-Star Game in D.C.

Meanwhile, the New York Yankees are trading blows with Boston over dominance of the AL East. Although their batting order gets all of the attention, their pitchers have equally as been vital to their excellent season. Luis Severino is arguably the best pitcher on the Pinstripes. He holds a 9-2 record and a 2.27 ERA. He also boasts a .195 opponent batting average. The 24-year-old is on pace for a career season in 2018. With the way the Yankees have been playing, Severino will be one of many Yankees on the AL roster come July.

National League

2018 MLB All-Star pitchers
Max Scherzer is arguably the best pitcher in the MLB. (Photo from SI.com)

Some Washington Nationals will find themselves on the NL roster playing at the park they call home. Max Scherzer will definitely be one of them. “Mad Max” boasts a 10-2 record in 2018, leading the NL in wins. Scherzer also has a 2.00 ERA and a .171 opponent batting average. Scherzer, like the rest of the Nationals, will have his sights on more than the upcoming All-Star Game. He’s got a fourth NL CY Young Award in mind, which is very likely to happen.

It was very difficult to mention just one St. Louis Cardinal in the conversation, but Michael Wacha has turned up the heat this season. Although he does not have the lowest ERA on the squad, Wacha’s 8-1 record is nothing to sneeze at. He is working on career bests this season in ERA, opponent batting average and WHIP. Expect more from Wacha as the Cardinals look to fight for the NL Central and get back into the playoffs.

The Chicago Cubs are looking to defend their title over the NL Central. Jon Lester is looking to grab his fifth All-Star appearance. Lester is 7-2 from the mound with a 2.22 ERA in 2018. Not to mention he has gone 5-1 in his last seven outings. Everyone in the Cubs’ dugout will have to do their part to keep the division titles coming to Chicago. But with Lester and company catching fire in recent weeks, no doubt they will be playing in October once again.

As the All-Star Game approaches

Between now and July 17, many more players will look to stake their claims for a roster spot. As previously mentioned, these are only some aces looking to pitch in the All-Star Game. One big question is, “Can these players remain as successful after the All-Star Game as they are now?” One can only hope, and that might be answered in our next pitchers spotlight.

 

Featured image by Getty Images

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