National League All-Stars: Are Gio & Stras Locks?

DC Sports Nexus ---- Thursday, June 14, 2012

Last night Matt Cain threw a perfect game for the San Francisco Giants.  It was his 8th win of the season (4th NL), struck out 14 batters (2nd NL w/ 96), and lowered his ERA to 2.18 (3rd NL).  Being on the west coast keeps Cain a little bit off of the radar but obviously he is an All-Star.

Most people in DC believe that Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez are also locks for the team.  However, there are a few other good NL pitchers that are also looking to get an all expenses paid trip to ... Kansas City.  So who are these other pitchers?

Keep in mind, the players/managers/coaches vote just 5 starters to the team and 3 relievers.  Tony LaRussa picks the other 7 or so pitchers from the starter or reliever pool.  It is early but these are my 7 locks right now, but Tony will probably pick 3-4 more starters.

Possible Starters:

1.  R.A. Dickey:  Nats fans know this knuckleballer because he dominated the Natty's last week, shutting out the Nats through 7 1/3, allowing only 4 hits and striking out 8.  Dickey currently has 10 wins (1st NL) and a 2.20 ERA (2nd NL).  LOCK

2.  Matt Cain:  See Above.  The Perfect Game may help his chances at being considered as a starter.  LOCK

3.  Stephen Strasburg:  First to 100 K's (1st NL).  2.45 ERA (9th NL).  8 wins.  Nats fans watch him dominate almost every game.  Gio's stats may be better, but Strasburg is the bigger name.  LOCK

The Rest:

4.  Gio Gonzalez:  With Strasburg on the Nats, Gio is somewhat underrated.  Keeping in mind he has pitched one less start than most of these other guys...He has 89 strikeouts (5th NL), he has only given up 1 homerun all year, and batters are batting only .168 (1st NL) against him.  Throw in a .235 ERA (6th NL).  LOCK

5.  Lance Lynn:  This Cardinals pitcher has 10 wins (1st NL) and an ERA of 2.42 (9th NL).  Those 10 wins will look good to the other players voting and Tony LaRussa seals the deal.  LOCK


6.  Brandon Beachy:  Beachy's 5-4 record doesn't look that great but the Braves pitcher has the lowest ERA in all of baseball, a 1.98.  He isn't a strikeout king, but batters are only hitting .176 against him (2nd NL).

7.  Cole Hamels:  Hamels has 9 wins and while his ERA is 3.34 (not top 10) he has 92 strikeouts (3rd NL)

Other Guys:

Unmentioned Guys in top 10 in ERA:  Ryan Vogelsong (Giants), Ryan Dempster (Cubs), James McDonald (Pirates-struck out 11 Nats in a Pirates win), Wade Miley (Diamondbacks)

Unmentioned Guys in top 10 in Wins:  Madison Bumgarner (Giants), Chris Capuano (Dodgers), Johnny Cueto (Reds), Zach Greinke (Brewers)

Unmentioned Guys in top 10 in K's:  Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers), Bud Norris (Astros), Tim Lincecum (Giants)

I personally like James McDonald and Wade Miley to be manager choices, maybe Dempster, but knowing LaRussa it could be every player on the Cardinals.  It will be interesting to see if anything changes in the next month.

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