Big Al's Daily Angle: MLB and CONCACAF Gold Cup Previews and Odds - 07/13/2021

by Big Al Staff

The Tuesday sports card features the MLB All-Star Game and the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Coors Field is the site of the 91st MLB All-Star Game with the National League the home team with the Colorado Rockies hosting the event. The Fox broadcast begins at 7:30 PM ET. 

The Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani is the star attraction this year. The breakout star is the starting pitcher for the American League, and Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash will have him bat leadoff. MLB has made an exception to their designated hitter rule to allow Ohtani to slide to the designated hitter slot to keep him in the game once he completes his pitching assignment. 

Cash’s starting lineup and batting order are as follows. After Ohtani, the Toronto Blue Jays’ Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. bats second as the starting first baseman. The Boston Red Sox’s Xander Bogaerts bats third at shortstop. The New York Yankees’ Aaron Judges hits cleanup as the starting right-fielder. The Red Sox’s Rafael Devers bats fifth at third bade. The Oakland A’s Marcus Semien bats sixth at second base. Starting catcher Salvador Perez of the Kansas City Royals’ bats seventh. The Blue Jays left fielder Teoscar Hernandez hits eighth. Cedric Mullins of the Baltimore Orioles bat ninth as the starting centerfielder.

Mullins is one of many players for both teams that were late additions to the final rosters. He replaces the Angels’ injured Mike Trout, out with a calf injury. Four Houston Astros’ players opted out. Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, and Michael Brantley all declined to play to recuperate from nagging injuries. Ryan Pressly is on paternity leave. The Royals’ Whit Merrifield replaces Altuve. The Chicago White Sox’s Tim Anderson takes Correa’s spot. The Tampa Bay Rays Joey Wendle replaces Brantley. The A’s Chris Bassitt takes Pressly's spot. The Cleveland Indians’ Shane Bieber was named to the team, but he will be inactive as he recovers from an injury that has kept him out for the last month. 

Cash will have eleven pitchers at his disposal after Ohtani. The starting pitchers who likely initially replace the Angels’ phenom include the New York Yankees’ Gerrit Cole, the Chicago White Sox’s Lance Lynn and Carlos Rodon, the Seattle Mariners’ Yusei Kikuchi (cleared from COVID quarantine on Monday), the Texas Rangers’ Kyle Gibson, the Red Sox’s Nathan Eovaldi, and Bassitt. Cash has four relievers at his disposal in Matt Barnes of the Red Sox, Aroldis Chapman of the Yankees, Liam Hendricks of the A’s, and the Detroit Tigers’ Gregory Soto.

Max Scherzer will take the ball as the National League starting pitcher for the fourth time. The Washington Nationals hurler replaces Kevin Gausman, who made his most recent start for the San Francisco Giants on Sunday.

Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts will have this initial starting lineup. The San Diego Padres’ Fernando Tatis, Jr. leads off as the starting shortstop. The Los Angeles Dodgers Max Muncy bats second as the designated hitter. Colorado Rockiers’ third baseman Nolan Arenado bats third. The Atlanta Braves Freddie Freeman hits clean up as the starting first baseman. Nick Castellanos of the Cincinnati Reds bats fifth as the starting right-fielder. The Reds’ left-fielder, Jesse Winkler, hits sixth. The Philadelphia Phillies’ J.T. Realmuto bats seventh as the starting catcher. The Pittsburgh Pirates Bryan Reynolds hits eighth as the starting centerfielder Reds’ second baseman Adam Frazier bats ninth.

The Padres’ Manny Machado replaces the Braves’ Ronald Acuna, who is out the season with a torn ACL. The Milwaukee Brewers’ catcher Omar Narvaez takes the spots of the Giants’ Buster Posey, who is out with a thumb injury. The Dodgers’ Mookie Betts, the St.Louis Cardinals’ Yadier Molina (the initial replacement for Posey at catcher), Yu Darvish of the Padres, and the New York Mets’ Jacob DeGrom have all opted out due to injuries. Brandon Woodruff will not be on the roster either after starting for the Brewers on Sunday. Starting pitchers Walker Buehler, Freddy Peralta, and Taijaun Walker are three late additions. Dodgers’ third baseman Justin Turner takes Betts’ spot on the team.

Roberts has six starting pitchers at his disposal to replace Scherzer in the Brewers’ Corbin Burnes, the Phillies’ Zack Wheeler, and the Rockies’ German Marquez, plus late additions Buehler, Peralta, and Walker. Five relievers are on the roster: Craig Kimberly of the Chicago Cubs, the Brewers’ Josh Hader, the Giants’ Trevor Rogers, the Cardinals’ Alex Reyes, and the Padres’ Mark Melancon.

An MLB record 40 players are making their All-Star Game debut. More than 30 players will be playing competing in their first All-Star Game for the third straight year. Since 2017, the winner of the All-Star Game does not determine home-field advantage in the World Series.

The American League has won the last seven midseason classics. The AL won, 4-3, as the home team at Progressive Field in Cleveland in 2019. Last year’s All-Star Game got canceled due to the pandemic. The AL holds a 45-43-2 all-time edge.

The National League is a -117 money line favorite with the total set at 11 (all odds from Draft Kings). 

The CONCACAF Gold Cup continues with the opening two matches in Group D in an FS1 doubleheader at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston. Qatar plays Panama at 7 PM ET as a -0.25 goal line favorite with an over/under of 2. Honduras faces Grenada at 9 PM ET as a -2.25 goal line favorite with a total of 3.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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