Manny Machado and Joe Musgrove have been named MLB All-Stars. The Midsummer Classic, scheduled to take place in Los Angeles on July 19th, saw its’ starting lineups announced on July 8th. After this year’s game, Machado will have made starts for both leagues. He last started for the American League at third base in 2018 while with the Baltimore Orioles. This is his fifth All-Star selection. Machado is currently in the fourth year of a ten-year, $300 million contract with the San Diego Padres. For Musgrove, this is his first All-Star selection.
Machado Having a Career Year
Without delay, Machado began the 2022 season with a fury, and has continued to play at a high level as the schedule approaches the All-Star break. So far this season, he’s batting .315/.387/.533/.920, with 13 home runs and 47 runs driven in. He is an early favorite to win the NL Most Valuable Player Award. Machado is on pace to set career highs in batting average (BA), on-base (OBP), and slugging (SLG). His career-high on-base plus slugging (OPS) is .950, which he set during the shortened 2020 season. In addition, no other player is performing at this level on the Padres’ active roster. For example, presumed MVP candidate Fernando Tatis, Jr. hasn’t played this season, and isn’t expected to make his 2022 debut until August at the earliest. By comparison, first baseman Eric Hosmer contributed similar production to Machado in April, but cooled significantly after the month ended.
Musgrove Pitches His Way to All-Star Game
When Musgrove will make his first All-Star Game appearance. He will wear the jersey of his hometown team. The San Diego kid brought the team its’ first no-hitter in 2021, adding the Padres to a list of franchises that have accomplished the feat. Last season, he threw a career-high 181 1/3 innings. This year, he is chasing that mark again. In addition, his ERA is 2.09, on pace for the lowest of his career.
Staying in the Chase
The Padres are currently 48–36, and trail the Los Angeles Dodgers by six games in the NL West division. Looking at the standings, they currently hold the No. 5 seed in the NL playoff race, trailing the Atlanta Braves by one game for the No. 4 seed. Offensively, Machado deserves most of the credit for the team’s success. The Friars are in a crowded chase, where seven teams are separated by 11.5 games for the right to play on in October.
A bulk of that success belongs to Musgrove, and the starting rotation. The Padres are ranked third in the NL in ERA (3.64). Additionally, they are second in WHIP (1.178), and sixth in the NL in run differential (plus-38). Musgrove has pitched 99 innings thus far. His teammate Yu Darvish has pitched 101 innings. Longevity from the starters, and their ability to pitch deep into games, have allowed the Padres to remain in the playoff hunt approaching the All-Star break. Pitchers and All-Star Game reserves for both leagues will be announced on July 10th. The 2022 MLB All-Star Game is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. EDT on July 19th at Dodger Stadium.
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