Zack Greinke, Dallas Keuchel to start All-Star Game
Los Angeles Dodgers righty Zack Greinke and Houston Astros lefty Dallas Keuchel were officially announced on Monday as the starting pitchers of the 2015 MLB All-Star Game.
Greinke, 31, has been putting up incredibly impressive peripheral stats this season, sporting a 8-2 record with a 1.39 ERA and 0.84 WHIP (both league-leading) as well as 106 strikeouts. His 2.65 FIP and MLB-best for a pitcher 5.5 WAR on the season indicate that those numbers are no fluke. He takes a 35 2/3 scoreless innings streak into the All-Star break as the Dodgers currently sit in first place.
The ineligibility of Nationals righty Max Scherzer, who pitched on Sunday, solidified Greinke’s selection. Still, the announcement came as a bit of a surprise as NL manager Bruce Bochy was widely expected to give the nod to his own guy, Giants ace Madison Bumgarner.
Said Bochy of the decision, “We had some great starters who are candidates, but the numbers he’s putting up are really, really unbelievable.”
Keuchel’s selection by AL manager Ned Yost comes as a bit less of a surprise as the 27-year-old has looked like the best pitcher in the American League this year. He sports an 11-4 record with a 2.33 ERA, a 2.82 FIP, and 114 strikeouts. He’s been inducing a ton of weakly hit grounders all year, leading the AL with a 1.80 GB/FB ratio, while holding opponents to a stingy .208 BAA. Keuchel has been one of the biggest catalysts behind a surprise 49-42 Astros team and is being rightly acclaimed with his first All-Star appearance.
“It was a tough decision,” said Yost of choosing Keuchel. “I kind of looked at numbers and studied numbers. I looked at the players’ votes. I settled on Dallas Keuchel and that was a tough decision too with all of these guys.”
Eligibility red tape (Scherzer, Sonny Gray) as well as individual team concerns (Chris Sale) made the decisions a little bit easier this year. But nevertheless, Greinke and Keuchel have put together solid arguments for best pitcher in their respective leagues all season, and both are very deserving of the All-Star Game start.
The 2015 MLB All-Star Game is on Tuesday at the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati. First pitch is scheduled for 7:30 PM EST, 4:30 PM PST.
*Stats courtesy of Fangraphs*