Who should start the All-Star Game? The cases for Jose, Danny Salazar and more

With Noah Syndergaard, Stephen Strasburg and other notable names missing from the 2016 All-Star Game, the National and American League teams will have a dilemma in who will start for their respective teams.

Here are some cases for possible starters.

For the National League...

José Fernández -- The Miami Marlins' ace has the fifth-lowest ERA in MLB at 2.52. More impressively, he ranks second in strikeouts with 154. Fernández continues to dominate at home, improving to a 25-1 record for his career with a 1.43 ERA, lowest among active qualified pitchers.

WOW STAT: Batters miss on 34 percent of their swings against Fernández, the highest rate in the majors.

Johnny Cueto -- Cueto has enjoyed his first season with the San Francisco Giants, tied for the third-lowest ERA (2.47) in baseball. He is 13-1, second-highest win percentage in MLB behind Strasburg's 12-0.

WOW STAT: Cueto is one of three players with multiple shutouts tossed prior to the All-Star break this season, joining Clayton Kershaw and Corey Kluber.

Jake Arrieta -- The defending NL Cy Young winner has had a rough past six starts, but it does not take away from how he started this season. Arrieta started off the season 11-1 with a 1.74 ERA, both second best in baseball behind Kershaw.

WOW STAT: Arrieta was one of seven players with 50-plus strikeouts via fastballs during his 11-1 streak.

For the American League...

Danny Salazar -- The Cleveland Indians are paying $536,200 this year to a pitcher who is 6-0 in his past 8 starts. In his most recent win, Salazar went seven scoreless innings and struck out eight without issuing a walk.


Salazar's 2.75 ERA is second best in the American League. That is by far the lowest ERA among the four AL pitchers averaging 10 strikeouts per 9 innings this season, nearly two runs lower than Chris Archer at 4.66.

Steven Wright -- Wright already has twice the number of wins that he did last season, in just one more start (17). Wright's pitch is the knuckleball, and his 2.68 ERA is better than fellow knuckleballer R.A. Dickey's in his Cy Young year.


Wright has a 1.88 ERA in eight road starts this season despite a 4-4 record. In his four road losses, he received an average of 1.5 run support per game.