In our final installment, we turn our attention to American League pitchers. As with the NL, I'm picking 5 starters and 3 relievers.
1st Inning: Cliff Lee, Seattle Mariners
3rd Inning: Zach Greinke, Kansas City Royals
4th Inning: Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers
5th Inning: Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners
6th Inning: Jon Lester, Boston Red Sox
I could be wrong, but I don't see a lot of controversy here. Maybe some would argue about the #1 slot, but Cliff Lee's been nothing short of amazing these past three years. Greinke can't win a game, but that's hardly his fault.
I think it's interesting that three teams own 7 of the top 10 starters.
And way to be Colby Lewis, making the top-10 list despite spending the past few years in Japan! Carson Cistulli must be so proud.
Wait, what? Thornton, a guy not even the closer on his own team, ranks as the best reliever in the American League? That's what the projections say, folks, don't shoot the messenger. While I do know that he throws in the high-90's, I don't know a lot about his situation...haven't been following the White Sox bullpen beyond knowing that Bobby Jenks doesn't have 100% job security. He has gotten the other two non-Jenks saves this year, though. Part of it could be that he's a lefty--maybe he gets used more often in platoon-advantage situations than the closers on this list, and so his numbers look better.
The rest of the list looks about right. If I were actually managing this team, maybe I'd let Thornton throw in the 7th inning just to not upset Rivera and Papelbon. :)
And that's it folks: your true talent All Stars. It was a fun exercise. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go vote.