Re: Mlb 2010
Couple of guys wrote that the AL has the edge with so many LHPs on the bench who could face NL reserves Adrian Gonzalez, Joey Votto or Brian McCann. However here is the catch: 3 of those 4 guys (Lee, Lester, Pettitte) are starters and more often than not managers use their starters first. So in reality the left-handed reserve pitchers will face the right-handed loaded NL starters.
Last year the AL went with this: Halladay 2.0, Buehrle 1.0, Greinke 1.0, Edwin Jackson 1.0, King Felix 1.0, Papelbon 1.0, Nathan 1.0, Rivera 1.0 innings.
2008: Lee 2.0, Saunders 1.0, Halladay 1.0, Santana 1.0, Duchscherer 1.0, Nathan 1.0, Papelbon 1.0, F. Rodriguez 0.1, Rivera 1.2, Soria 1.2, Sherrill 2.1, Kazmir 1.0 innings.
2007: Haren 2.0, Beckett 2.0, Sabathia 1.0, Verlander 1.0, Santana 1.0, Papelbon 1.0, Putz 0.2, F. Rodriguez 0.1 innings.
As you can see they started the game with 5 starters in each years. It means that Lee or Lester shouldn't be around to face Gonzo, Votto or McCann later in tha game. Maybe Andy but i'm not scared by him.
One thing you can't underestimate: the NL wants this and they want it badly. Take Albert Pujols, the best positional player in baseball. He was an All Star eight times so far and guess what, he is 0-for-8. I would hate to be 0-for-8 even in an uno game... The NL is trying hard in the last couple of years. They didn't win since 1996 but the last 4 years they always lost by 1 run. (There was a tie in 2002.) Couple of managers and players said it's borderline ridiculous and embarrassing.
And the NL is the best in the business in one thing for sure, starting pitching. Look at these guys: Jimenez (2.20 ERA), Josh Johnson (1.70), Wainwright (2.11), Halladay (2.19), Hudson (2.30), Lincecum (3.16), Carpenter (3.19). This is serious stuff. When Tiny Tim and Carpenter are your backup options as starters, man... Nasty. On the other hand: Price (2.42), Lee (2.64), Pettitte (2.70), Lester (2.78), Weaver (3.20), Carmona (3.64), Hughes (3.65), Verlander (3.82). Not so dominant. And Mo Rivera is not around to close it out for the AL. That's a great plus too.
The NL also has the edge in bench players. Since nobody should get more than 3 at-bats in a game like this, it could be really important.
Reserve lineup for NL: McCann, Gonzalez, Phillips, Furcal, Rolen, Holliday, Bourn, Chris Young and Joey Votto.
Reserve lineup for AL: Buck, Konerko, Kinsler, Andrus, A-Rod, Bautista, Hunter, Swisher and Big Papi.
If the NL starters can hold on and keep that stackes AL starting lineup off the board they instantly becomes favs in the game. Toronto guys Buck and Bautista should sink the ship in the later innings with poor hitting.
The NL really miss a couple of guys ( mainly Utley and Tulowitzki) and they lost out on a couple of guys because the bad use of the "at least 1 player per team" rule. (mainly Carlos Gonzalez and Huff)
Take the National League @2.16, because it's the Year of the Pitchers.
PAW tournament wins: Queens 2005