Going into Monday night’s game in Atlanta, Strasburg was 2-1 with a 1.78 ERA. The question is whether or not he will be included on the All-Star team and impact baseball odds.
Baseball lines have favored Strasburg in each of his starts so far but against the Braves the odds were much smaller since Tim Hudson was pitching for Atlanta and because the Nationals were on the road. Strasburg has been brilliant so far this season. He had 41 strikeouts in just over 25 innings of work. Hitters were batting .167 against him. His numbers are worth of an All-Star game berth if experience is not factored into the equation.
Old timers in baseball like Joe Morgan don’t want Strasburg in the All-Star game but he is really in the minority. The All-Star game has never been about who should be in the game based on numbers. Every team gets a player selected which means many players who shouldn’t be in the game will be playing. Fans get a vote and many times they simply vote for their favorite players regardless of the numbers. Pitchers are not voted into the game so the fan vote is not a factor. The pitchers are selected by the manager and in the case of the National League All-Star team it will be Phillies manager Charlie Manuel. Unless Commissioner Bud Selig makes a call to Manuel, it is unlikely that Strasburg will get picked. Manuel is old school and probably would leave Strasburg off the roster simply because he doesn’t have experience.
The National League is going to have some good starting pitchers but Strasburg would be right with any of the top starters. Colorado’s Ubaldo Jimenez is the likely starter and he has been superb this season vs. the baseball odds. Other pitchers that should make the team are St. Louis starters Adam Wainwright and Chris Carpenter, Philadelphia’s Roy Halladay, Florida’s Josh Johnson and San Francisco’s Tim Lincecum. The relievers are a weaker group but it is still likely that the Dodgers Jonathan Broxton, San Francisco’s Brian Wilson, San Diego’s Heath Bell, Washington’s Matt Capps and Atlanta’s Billy Wagner make the list.