On July 19th, fans of the Miami Marlins know they have the chance to see at least one member of the team start the 92nd MLB All-Star Game.
While the jury is still out on whether second baseman Jazz Chisholm Jr. will be able to start the game due to an injury, there is no doubt that another member of the Fish has earned the right to start the mid-summer classic.
Starting pitcher Sandy Alcantara, who was selected Sunday to the second All-Star Game of his career, has been arguably the best pitcher in the National League this season and one of the best pitchers in all of baseball.
Through 18 starts this season, Alcantara has a 9-3 record with a 1.73 earned run average - the second best in the NL among all pitchers - while being the only pitcher in the NL with two complete games thrown.
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In 130.1 innings pitched this season, the Marlins ace has given up just 88 hits and walked only 31 batters while striking out 111 and allowing just a .193 batting average to opponents.
Even non-Marlins fans would have to admit that Alcantara has at least earned the right to be in the conversation to start next Tuesday's game in Dodger Stadium.
After throwing seven innings of shutout baseball in Miami's win Sunday over the New York Mets, Alcantara is next scheduled to pitch Friday at home against the Philadelphia Phillies. That would give him a chance to have three days of rest before likely throwing just one inning in the ASG like most pitchers do.
The thing that could keep Alcantara off the mound as starter? Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Tony Gonsolin enters the final week of the season's first half with an 11-0 record and a 1.62 ERA - in two less starts with nearly 42 less innings tossed and 31 FEWER strikeouts.
While the game will be in Gonsolin and the Dodgers' home stadium, it should also be noted that Alcantara has done all his work with a Marlins team currently two games UNDER .500 while Los Angeles currently has the best record in the National League.
If the All-Star Game is supposed to represent the best in professional baseball on display, the man who wears No. 22 for Miami should be throwing the game's first pitch.