The National League and American League will meet in the All-Star Game for the 84th time on Tuesday night at 8 ET. Let's run through some of the notable storylines for this game.
The NL leads the all-time series 43-38-2 and has won the past three games, but the AL won the previous seven. The winning league gets home-field advantage in the World Series, which is meaningful when you consider that teams with home-field advantage have won 22 of the past 27 World Series.
The NL has claimed both the All-Star Game and the World Series title in each of the past three years. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, should the NL win both again this year, it would tie the record (the NL also did it from 1979 to 1982).
The past five All-Star Games have been relatively low scoring, with the leagues combining for 32 runs. The AL has managed only two runs combined in the past three games, hitting a combined .189.
The NL will try for its longest All-Star Game winning streak since winning 11 straight from 1972 to 1982.
AL lineup: mashers galore
The AL has the advantage on paper in terms of offensive firepower in its starting lineup, with the top two home run hitters in the sport hitting cleanup and third in Chris Davis and Miguel Cabrera.
The NL starting lineup features seven batters with .300-or-better batting averages to the AL's six. But the AL has the advantage in home runs, 185-136, featuring six hitters with at least 19 homers this season.
Harvey, who at 24 will be the youngest pitcher to start the All-Star Game since 23-year-old Dwight Gooden in 1988, will hope to fare better than the last pitcher to start the All-Star Game in his home ballpark. As a member of the Houston Astros, Roger Clemens allowed six runs to the American League in the first inning of the 2004 All-Star Game at Minute Maid Park.
Scherzer has a statistical connection to Clemens as well. He was the first pitcher to start a season 13-0 or better since Clemens did in 1986. Clemens started and won the All-Star Game that year, taking home MVP honors for his three perfect innings en route to a win in the Astrodome.
Harvey (7-2) and Scherzer (13-1) have a combined .870 winning percentage this season. According to Elias, it's the third-highest percentage for opposing starters in an All-Star Game. Randy Johnson and David Wells combined for an .879 winning percentage in 2000, while Johnson and Hideo Nomo had a combined .882 percentage in 1995.
The Elias Sports Bureau notes that Harvey has 29 career starts on his résumé, the fewest of any All-Star Game starter since Nomo (13) in 1995.
For more on the pitching matchup, check out our post from Monday afternoon.
Rivera’s last All-Star Game
Mariano Rivera was named to his 13th All-Star Game, the second most for any pitcher in major league history, trailing only Warren Spahn’s 17.
Rivera has actually appeared in eight All-Star Games. The only pitcher with more appearances is Clemens with 10.
Rivera has four All-Star Game saves, the most all time (one more than Dennis Eckersley), with his last coming in 2009. Rivera’s All-Star Game ERA is 0.00, with one unearned run allowed in eight innings. The only pitcher with more career All-Star innings and no earned runs allowed is Mel Harder with 13.
Rivera is tied with Derek Jeter and Joe DiMaggio for the third-most selections in Yankees history. Only Mickey Mantle (20) and Yogi Berra (18) have more.