MLB All-Star Game: 5 Reasons Why Jon Lester Should Start for AL

MLB All-Star Game: 5 Reasons Why Jon Lester Should Start for AL

Jon Lester Miguel Cabrera
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Jon Lester is having a career season at the most opportune time. The 30-year-old lefty is riding out the last year on his six year, million deal, on pace to set career bests in innings, strikeouts and ERA that will equate to a gigantic payday in the offseason. As the bright spot on Boston's putrid year as defending champions, Lester is deserving of being the first Red Sox pitcher to start the All-Star Game since Derek Lowe in 2002.

5. All-Star Game Success

Jon Lester
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5. All-Star Game Success

Jon Lester
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Take the word "success" modestly, as Lester has only pitched at the All-Star Game once. That was a one-two-three sixth inning in a 2010 AL loss and he did not take the hill at all in 2011. But he still has not given up a run at the Midsummer Classic, something Mark Buehrle cannot claim, and still has the in-game experience that say, Masahiro Tanaka, does not.

4. Lester Played a Huge Role During the Red Sox World Series Run

Jon Lester John Farrell
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4. Lester Played a Huge Role During the Red Sox 2013 World Series Run

Jon Lester John Farrell
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The MLB All-Star Game can sometimes be occupied by favoritism on part of the managers. In this case, AL manager Jon Farrell could send out Lester to the mound in the top of the first as a reward for playing a large role in last year's World Series winning squad. Lester went 4-1 in five postseason starts in 2013, tossing 34.2 innings, fanning 29 batters and posting a 1.56 ERA.

3. Balanced Statistics

Jon Lester
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3. Balanced Statistics

Jon Lester
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Aside from Felix Hernandez, Jon Lester is the only pitcher in the American League that is in the top 10 in wins (9-eighth), ERA (2.73-seventh), innings (122.0-sixth), strikeouts (122-seventh) and WHIP (1.15-ninth).

2. Success Against NL Starters

Jon Lester Kevin Youkilis Josh Beckett
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2. Success Against NL Starters

Jon Lester Kevin Youkilis Josh Beckett
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Jon Lester has been downright filthy against the nine batters who comprise the National League's starters. Carlos Gomez, Troy Tulowitzki, Paul Goldschmidt, Giancarlo Stanton, Yasiel Puig, Andrew McCutcheon, Aramis Ramirez, Chase Utley and Yadier Molina (also my projected starting lineup) are combined 8-49 with 15 whiffs against Lester. Gomez is 1-14 and Goldschmidt is the only one to take Lester's yard.

1. Big Game Abilities

Jon Lester
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1. Big Game Abilities

Jon Lester
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The All-Star Game is a huge stage, one that still controversially decides which league has homefield advantage in the World Series. With that in mind, who better to have hurling the first two innings than Jon Lester, the man who has pitched by far the most innings in the postseason than any arm on the AL staff? Not only that, but Lester's postseason numbers dazzle: a 2.51 ERA, 68 k's in 76.2 innings and two World Series championships.

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