Although the Major League Baseball All-Star Game rosters have been set for more than a week, we learned exactly how the starting lineups and batting orders will look for the Midsummer Classic on Monday.
Los Angeles Angels phenom Shohei Ohtani will get the start on the mound for the American League. He will also bat leadoff, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
Ohtani, voted as the AL’s starting designated hitter and also picked as a pitcher, made history as the first player in MLB to make an All-Star team as both a hitter and pitcher.
The news of Ohtani’s position in the starting lineup and batting order comes after ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith was slammed on social media for xenophobic comments about the Japanese superstar. Smith suggested that Ohtani can’t be one of the biggest stars in MLB because he uses an interpreter.
Ohtani is expected to singlehandedly drive in a larger television audience for both the Home Run Derby and the All-Star Game. The 27-year-old leads the league in home runs (33), is third in RBI (70) and is hitting .279/.364/.698 this season.
On the mound, the former Rookie of the Year is 4-1 with a 3.49 ERA, 1.209 WHIP and 87 strikeouts in 67 innings.
What Ohtani has done this season is nothing short of incredible. He’s even drawing comparisons to the legendary Babe Ruth and is the betting favorite to win the AL MVP award this year, according to BetOnline.ag.