This year, the MLB 2018 Mid-Summer classic will be hosted in the Nation’s Capitol, with the majority of the events taking place at the Washington Nationals’ stadium in the heart of the District. The Athletes Hub will have exclusive and local coverage of all the events transpiring over the long weekend, and into Tuesday for the actual showcase. I will be providing in-depth coverage of the three main facets of the All-Star events: Fan Fest, Home Run Derby, and the All-Star game itself.
— All-Star Game (@AllStarGame) July 13, 2018
This year’s MLB Fan Fest is at Washington’s Convention Center in downtown DC. Fans can get a chance to do several interactive experiences such as a VR HR derby environment, lessons from Hall of Famers, and autograph sessions with MLB legends. The event takes place on Friday July 13th and runs all the way through July 16th, when the All-Star Game festivities wrap up. I will be providing some live updates of this event on Twitter on Monday morning, so be sure to follow @HubofAthletes for all the insider access.
Home Run Derby:
Dingers on deck.
— MLB (@MLB) July 12, 2018
This year, the home run derby will provide its usual set of challenges for the participants, but I see a few key factors for this year’s crew. Will hometown hero, Bryce Harper, be able to handle the pressure of having all eyes on him as he tries to win the derby in front of his own fans? Will the Cubs’ Kyle Schwarber make an unlikely push for the crown of the left side of the bracket?
Left side of bracket
1. Jesus Aguilar, Brewers vs. 8. Rhys Hoskins, Phillies
4. Alex Bregman, Astros vs. 5. Kyle Schwarber, Cubs
Right side of bracket
2. Bryce Harper, Nationals vs. 7 Freddie Freeman, Braves
3. Max Muncy, Dodgers vs. 6. Javier Baez, Cubs
The Nationals ballpark tends to favor the left-handed sluggers, like Harper, as right field is the shortest distance, at 335 total feet. However, with left field just being a mere two feet deeper than right, the advantage is not severe.
|Field size||Left Field – 337 feet
Left-Center – 377 feet
Center Field – 402 feet
Right-Center – 370 feet
Right Field – 335 feet
Look for a fairly even matchup between these long-ballers, but my prediction is for the finale to come down to Harper vs. Schwarber, with Bryce Harper bringing home the hardware in front of his adoring fans.
The All-Star game starters are a fairly even matched contest, with the X-Factor being the pitching. I like the look of the NL’s pitching depth with Max Scherzer and Clayton Kershaw leading the push. However, the red-hot bats of Mike Trout and Manny Machado may decide this game late.
Prediction: NL 6 – AL 4
Rosters Credit: ESPN.com
Photo credit: MASN SPORTS