Fresh faces in the spotlight tonight in KC

July, 10, 2012
7/10/12
10:21
AM ET

US PresswireThe 83rd MLB All-Star Game will be played tonight in Kansas City.
The stars of the AL and NL battle for league bragging rights tonight in the 83rd Major League Baseball All-Star game at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.

The National League leads the all-time series 42-38-2 and has won the past two matchups. The last time the NL won three All-Star games in a row was 1994-96.

HOME SWEET HOME
This will be the 10th time that the game has decided homefield advantage in the World Series. How important is homefield advantage in the Fall Classic?

Since 1985, the team with homefield advantage has won 21 of 26 World Series. Also, the last nine times the World Series has gone to a Game 7, the home team has won each time. In fact, the last road team to win a Game 7 was the 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates.

FRESH FACES
A record five rookies were selected to the All-Star game this year: Ryan Cook, Yu Darvish, Bryce Harper, Wade Miley and Mike Trout. Nineteen players age 25 or younger were selected to play in the game, the most since 1967, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Harper is the youngest position player ever selected to the All-Star Game, and just the third 19-year-old. Both Dwight Gooden and Bob Feller were selected as teenagers, but only Gooden appeared in the game.

Harper and Trout will be the fourth and fifth non-pitchers under the age of 21 to play in the All-Star game in the last 35 seasons. The last player to do it was Alex Rodriguez in 1996.

Stephen Strasburg is the fifth pitcher selected No. 1 in the MLB Draft to be chosen as an All-Star. David Price is the only other former No. 1 pick and All-Star that came from the last 20 drafts.

STARTING PITCHERS
Justin Verlander gets the starting nod for the AL, becoming the first Detroit Tigers pitcher to start the All-Star Game since Kenny Rogers in 2006. He joins Jim Palmer (1977) as the only AL pitchers to start the All-Star Game after winning the Cy Young Award the previous season, according to Elias.

Justin Verlander
Verlander
Verlander leads the AL in innings, complete games and is tied for the lead in strikeouts. He has thrown 31 pitches this season at 100 MPH or faster; the rest of the major-league starters have thrown 21.

Matt Cain will take the ball first for the NL, becoming the seventh different San Francisco Giants pitcher to start the All-Star game. The list includes two Hall of Famers (Juan Marichal and Carl Hubbell) and his current teammate Tim Lincecum, among others.

Matt Cain
Cain
Cain, who ranks second in the NL in WHIP and strikeout-to-walk ratio, threw the first perfect game in Giants history last month. Elias says the only other pitcher to start an All-Star game after throwing a perfect game earlier in the season was David Wells in 1998.

DID YOU KNOW?
There has only been one grand slam hit in All-Star Game history. Fred Lynn took Atlee Hammaker deep with the bases loaded in the third inning of the 1983 game.

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