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2021 MLB All-Star Game open thread

The Orioles’ Cedric Mullins is in the starting lineup for the American League All-Stars as they take on the NL in Denver.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Los Angeles Angels Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

It’s All-Star Game time. And no matter how you feel about the annual Midsummer Classic — a must-see event, a pointless exhibition, or somewhere in between — we can all agree on one thing:

It’s really, really cool that Cedric Mullins is starting the All-Star Game.

In case you missed it, the O’s 2021 standout was named the starting center fielder for the American League in place of the injured Mike Trout, a well-deserved reward for a player who’s been one of the most sensational stories in baseball this year. Mullins’ stats have run laps around most other outfielders in the league, even the guys who were initially voted to start the All-Star Game over him, so he’s a great addition to the AL lineup. Mullins will bat ninth.

He’s the first Oriole to start the game since Manny Machado in 2018, in what ended up being Manny’s final game in an O’s uniform (he was dealt to the Dodgers before the second half of the regular season resumed). Barring a shocking trade from Mike Elias, the same fate will not befall Mullins.

Mullins will look to become the seventh player in Orioles history to win All-Star Game MVP honors. The last to do it was Miguel Tejada in 2005, and the feat was also accomplished by Orioles legends Cal Ripken Jr. (1991 and 2001), Frank Robinson (1971), and Brooks Robinson (1966), as well as Hall of Fame second baseman Roberto Alomar in 1998.

There are plenty of intriguing non-Mullins storylines as well, headlined by Angels two-way sensation Shohei Ohtani, who will become the first player in history to start an All-Star Game both as the pitcher and the designated hitter. Superstar sons-of-major-leaguers Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Fernando Tatis Jr. will get a chance to flash their exciting skills on a national stage. And former Rockies cornerstone Nolan Arenado, whom the club traded less than two years after signing him to a $260 million extension, returns to Coors Field as a Cardinal, batting third for the National League.

The action begins at 7:30 PM ET on FOX. Let’s go, Cedric!

AL lineup:

DH Shohei Ohtani (Angels)
1B Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (Blue Jays)
SS Xander Bogaerts (Red Sox)
RF Aaron Judge (Yankees)
3B Rafael Devers (Red Sox)
2B Marcus Semien (Blue Jays)
C Salvador Perez (Royals)
LF Teoscar Hernandez (Blue Jays)

RHP Shohei Ohtani

NL lineup:

SS Fernando Tatis Jr. (Padres)
DH Max Muncy (Dodgers)
3B Nolan Arenado (Cardinals)
1B Freddie Freeman (Braves)
RF Nick Castellanos (Reds)
LF Jesse Winker (Reds)
C J.T. Realmuto (Phillies)
CF Bryan Reynolds (Pirates)
2B Adam Frazier (Pirates)

RHP Max Scherzer (Nationals)