Almanac Baseball: Mid-Season Wrap/All Star Game Preview

The traditional mid-season reset of the MLB season is upon us. Teams get a short reprieve from their grinding schedule while a fortunate few participate in the All Star Game extravaganza.


The full suite of ASG activities is back this year in Denver after a pared down Covid version in 2020. As the 30 teams finish up their games on Sunday, the stars of the future are showing their wares in a Futures ASG at Coors Field. The next round of potential stars are also in the limelight with the draft taking place as well.


It will be the Home Run Derby on Monday followed by the main event on Tuesday. All the fun of the fair for America’s national pastime.


Looking at the starting lineup, it is pleasing to see (with an acknowledged bias) that Devers and Bogaerts are the 3B/ SS combination for the American League. Ohtani gets his well deserved spot as the opening DH, but JD Martinez will be on the bench to provide great backup.


The National League team has the wunderkind, Tatis, at shortstop in a strong lineup. Pitching has been quite exceptional this season so it may end up being a battle of the arms.


So how has the season unfolded prior to the ASG?


There have been a few teams averaging over the .600 mark for most of the season and are at that point now. In the AL, we have the almighty Red Sox sitting alongside the White Sox and Astros. Across in the NL, the Giants are the pacesetters with the Dodgers breathing down their neck. For many years, the AL East has been the most contested conference but these two have been squaring off with the Padres in the NL West to produce the fiercest pennant race in many a year.


As for players, the big story of the year (and the subject of my last baseball post) has been the form of Shohei Ohtani. The man is almost super human. He is now a clear leader on the home run board and is still racking up great starts off the mound, most recently against the Red Sox. Babe Ruth, eat your heart out.


Other great feats on the mound include the stellar year of Jacob de Grom. Most pundits look at a pitcher’s ERA (earned run average) as the main measure, and his is phenomenal at 1.08 with his nearest rival at 1.73, but for me it is WHIP (walks and hits per inning pitched). His figure of just 0.54 is insane. Essentially, he is only allowing someone on base every second inning he pitches. That man is a true ace and an absolute gun. Pity his team, the Mets, are so ordinary.


At 9:30am on Wednesday morning (Melbourne time) we’ll get to see the cream of the baseball world get down to it. With a bit of luck, a cracking game will ensue. A couple of days later, hostilities will resume and we can focus on the big picture – the Red Sox winning the World Series. Oh well, that’ll be my rose tinted view of the rest of the season anyhow.





The Tigers (Covid) Almanac 2020 will be published in 2021. It will have all the usual features – a game by game account of the Tigers season – and will also include some of the best Almanac writing from the Covid winter.  Pre-order HERE



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Grew up playing the rugby codes in suburban Sydney. Moved to Melbourne during the Carey era so becoming a Shinboner was the natural call. Still love the game they play in heaven. Took an interest in MLB a few years back and have become infatuated with America's pastime.


  1. Kevin Densley says

    It’s always good to read your MLB reports, B the R (more please!) – though personally I do feel the All-Star game is a bit of a novelty event, including the Home Run Derby.

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