Houston Astros right-hander Justin Verlander will get the start for the American League in the All-Star Game on Tuesday, facing the Los Angeles Dodgers' Hyun-Jin Ryu, AL manager Alex Cora announced Monday.
Verlander, an eight-time All-Star, is 10-4 with a 2.98 ERA and 153 strikeouts in 126 ⅔ innings. It's his second All-Star start. He allowed five runs in the first inning during the 2012 All-Star Game at Kansas City, including the first bases-loaded triple in All-Star history -- to Pablo Sandoval.
"I kind of halfway blame it on Prince Fielder,'' Verlander said. "He was at first base, and he kept whispering at me, 'Ver, Ver, Ver, throw 100.' OK, Prince, here we go. So that was back then.''
Ryu, a left-hander from South Korea, leads the majors with a 1.73 ERA and is tied for the National League lead in wins with 10. His manager, Dave Roberts, had named Ryu to start when the teams were announced last week. He is the second Asian All-Star starter after Dodgers rookie Hideo Nomo of Japan in 1995.
"When I signed with the Dodgers, all I wanted was to get a chance to compete with the best in Major League Baseball,'' Ryu said through a translator. "I wasn't necessarily thinking about pitching in an All-Star Game. But like I said before, this is all surreal to me.''
Roberts envisions the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw following Ryu and then the New York Mets' Jacob deGrom coming in. Cora plans to have the Yankees' Masahiro Tanaka pitch second and then decided to go backward: New York's Aroldis Chapman would pitch the ninth if the AL is ahead, Cleveland's Brad Hand the eighth and Houston's Ryan Pressly the seventh.
"We've got the opener. We've got the close, and the setup guys,'' Cora said. "It should be fun.''
Chicago Cubs shortstop Javier Baez hits second, followed by Atlanta first baseman Freddie Freeman, Dodgers right fielder Cody Bellinger, Colorado third baseman Nolan Arenado, Pittsburgh's Josh Bell at designated hitter, Cubs catcher Willson Contreras, Arizona second baseman Ketel Marte and Atlanta center fielder Ronald Acuna Jr.
The National League has the youngest starting lineup in All-Star Game history, with an average age of 25.75. The previous record was 26.4 by the 2017 AL starters.
Houston's George Springer leads off and plays right field for the AL and is followed in the order by New York Yankees second baseman DJ LeMahieu, Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout, Cleveland first baseman Carlos Santana, Boston designated hitter J.D. Martinez, Houston third baseman Alex Bregman, Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez, Astros left fielder Michael Brantley and Minnesota shortstop Jorge Polanco.
Cora joked about LeMahieu's success against the Red Sox in his first season after leaving the Rockies for New York -- especially when Boston played the Yankees in London last month.
"People in the offseason thought that he wasn't going to be able to hit outside of Colorado. Well, he hits outside of Colorado and in Europe, too,'' Cora said.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.