A look at what’s happening around the majors on Saturday:
THE FUTURE IS NOW
The All-Star Game festivities start in earnest with the Futures Game, where some of the best prospects in Major League Baseball will play a seven-inning matchup at Dodger Stadium.
Among the minor leaguers set to play are: 20-year-old Mets catcher Francisco Álvarez, the No. 2-rated prospect in the majors; Texas pitcher Jack Leiter, son of former big league pitcher Al Leiter; and Washington second baseman Darren Baker, son of Houston manager Dusty Baker.
Former All-Star catcher and longtime manager Mike Scioscia will guide the NL squad, back in the ballpark where his Los Angeles Dodgers won two World Series championships. Three-time All-Star shortstop Jimmy Rollins will manage the AL side.
V FOR VERLANDER
Justin Verlander wraps up a dominant first half in his return from Tommy John surgery when he starts at home for Houston against the A’s.
Verlander (11-3, 2.00 ERA) tries to become the first pitcher in the majors this season with 12 wins. He’s won three straight starts, allowing just two earned runs in 21 innings.
This is the ninth time Verlander has been chosen as an All-Star. With the Midsummer Classic on Tuesday, it’s uncertain whether the 38-year-old right-hander will be able to pitch an inning in the game on only two days’ rest.
SEE YOU SOON?
Several big hitters will face each other, ahead of possibly squaring off in the All-Star Home Run Derby on Monday night in Los Angeles.
At Nationals Park, Ronald Acuña Jr. and the Braves will take on Juan Soto and Washington. In Texas, Mariners rookie Julio Rodríguez plays against Corey Seager and the Rangers.
Dylan Bundy and the Minnesota Twins aim to extend their AL Central lead…