What to expect from Astros in 2018 All-Star Game

By Cory McCord - Digital News Editor
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George Springer, Jose Altuve, Gerrit Cole, Justin Verlander, Alex Bregman

WASHINGTON, D.C. - We know Jose Altuve is starting at second base and hitting second in the stacked American League lineup for the All-Star Game on Tuesday, but what should we expect to see from other hometown heroes in the Midsummer Classic?

Altuve is hitting between Mookie Betts and Mike Trout. That's pretty good protection in the batting order, so if he gets a couple of hits to start the game, he could remain in the game and make a run at the MVP award.

Alex Bregman and George Springer both have a good shot at getting into the game, even if it's only for an at-bat or two.

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Bregman and Springer are two right-handed batters that are available to come off the bench for the AL squad. In all, there are six right-handed hitters, two switch-hitters and three lefties available on the AL bench.

Jose Ramirez and Manny Machado are the starters on the left side of the AL infield, so it would make sense for Bregman to come in as a replacement in one of those two positions, but Francisco Lindor is almost guaranteed to be the first one off the AL bench. Bregman and Jean Segura are the other options at shortstop and third base.

The outfield is a little bit more crowded in the AL. Springer, Nelson Cruz, Mitch Haniger, Michael Brantley and Shin-Soo Choo are all backups to Aaron Judge, Trout and Betts. It wouldn't be a huge surprise to see AL manager A.J. Hinch get his guy in the game, at least for an inning or two.

Hinch said last week that Justin Verlander will not pitch in the game, but that doesn't mean you won't see an Astros pitcher on the bump.

Gerrit Cole and Charlie Morton are two right-handed options for Hinch out of the bullpen. Chris Sale is starting and Hinch has a slew of options behind him, although only two of them are left-handed.

Cole last pitched in an Astros 9-1 win over the Tigers on Saturday, so the turnaround may be a little too tight for him to make an appearance. He threw 107 pitches in the outing.

Morton, who is making his All-Star Game debut at age 34, last pitched on Thursday. Five days is normal rest for pitchers, so it wouldn't be surprising to see Morton get some work in against the best hitters in the National League.

Here is a look at the AL starting lineup, reserves and pitchers:

Batting order:

1. Mookie Betts, RF, Boston
2. Jose Altuve, 2B, Houston
3. Mike Trout, CF, Los Angeles
4. J.D. Martinez, DH, Boston
5. Jose Ramirez, 3B, Cleveland
6. Aaron Judge, LF, New York
7. Manny Machado, SS, Baltimore
8. Jose Abreu, 1B, Chicago
9. Salvador Perez, C, Kansas City

Reserves:

Michael Brantley, OF, Cleveland
Shin-Soo Choo, OF, Texas
Mitch Moreland, 1B, Boston
Jed Lowrie, 2B, Oakland
Francisco Lindor, SS, Cleveland
Yan Gones, C, Cleveland
Nelson Cruz, DH, Seattle
Alex Bregman, 3B, Houston
Jean Segura, SS, Seattle
George Springer, OF, Houston
Mitch Haniger, OF, Seattle

Pitchers:

Chris Sale, SP, Boston (starter)
Luis Severino, SP, New York
Trevor Bauer, SP, Cleveland
Gerrit Cole, SP, Houston
Charlie Morton, SP, Houston
Blake Snell, SP, Tampa Bay
J.A. Happ, SP, Toronto
Jose Berrios, SP, Minnesota
Justin Verlander, SP, Houston
Edwin Diaz, RP, Seattle
Joe Jimenez, RP, Detroit
Craig Kimbrel, RP, Boston
Blake Treinen, RP, Oakland

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