LOS ANGELES (AP) — Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw will start for the National League on Tuesday night in the first All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium since 1980, and Tampa Bay’s Shane McClanahan will be on the mound for the American League.
Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani will lead off for the AL as the designated hitter. Last year, he was the starting pitcher and led off as the DH in the AL’s 5-2 win at Denver.
Ohtani is 9-4 with 2.38 ERA on the mound this year, striking out 123 in 87 innings. The reigning AL MVP shut down Houston in his last outing Wednesday, and there was speculation he might start this Southern California showcase.
Ohtani said Monday that he won’t pitch in the All-Star Game and instead will start the Angels’ first game after the break, on Friday in Atlanta.
“From the information that we received from Ohtani’s camp was that, you know, he probably shouldn’t or wouldn’t start, and so then that’s why we chose Shane,” AL manager Dusty Baker of the Astros said Monday.
“They just said they preferred that, you know, he doesn’t pitch,” Baker said.
The 34-year-old Kershaw, a three-time Cy Young Award winner, is 7-2 with a 2.14 ERA and 75 strikeouts in 71 2/3 innings. Two years ago, he helped Los Angeles win its first World Series title since 1988.
“It’s hard, because obviously Sandy Alcantara, Tony Gonsolin, Max Fried, all these guys have better numbers than I do and they should be starting this game and I get that,” Kershaw said. “But all that to say, I am just so excited I get to do it here at Dodger Stadium.”
Kershaw, who passed Don Sutton in April for the team career strikeouts lead, will become the third Dodgers pitcher to start in the last seven All-Star Games, following Zack Greinke in 2015 at Cincinnati and Hyun Jin Ryu in 2019 at…