Cubs Javier Baez will lead off for the National League in Tuesday’s All-Star Game
WASHINGTON D.C. – For the second time in three years, a Cubs player will get the chance to get things started for the National League All-Stars in the Mid-Summer Classic.
That could mean some quick entertainment, if Javier Baez’s first half is any indication.
The Cubs second baseman will bat leadoff for the National League in Tuesday’s All-Star Game at Nationals Park. He becomes the second in three seasons to start off the game at the top of the lineup, joining teammate Ben Zobrist, who did so for the 2016 game.
Baez will bat leadoff for just the third time this season, making nine plate appearances earlier in the season with two hits.
Making a late run in the voting to earn his first spot in the All-Star Game, Baez is hitting .292 with a team-high 19 homers and 72 RBIs. His mix of dynamic plays in the field and on the bases have made him a darkhorse candidate for the National League MVP award should he be able to keep up the performance the final two-and-a-half months of the season.
Teammate Willson Contreras will be on the opposite end of the lineup, hitting ninth in a National League lineup that does include a designated hitter. Like Baez, a late surge in the voting put the catcher into his first All-Star Game in 2018, hitting .279 with seven homers and 34 RBIs.
Jon Lester will be in attendance for the game after being chosen by National League manager Dave Roberts but will not pitch since he had the start on Sunday.
Meanwhile the White Sox lone representative, first baseman Jose Abreu, will bat eighth for the American League as he starts in the game for the first time in his career. Abreu, who appeared in the Mid-Summer Classic in his rookie year of 2014, was in the lead in the fan voting since the beginning and managed to hold on despite a major June slump.
Abreu is batting .253 with 13 homers and 52 RBIs.