Royals manager Ned Yost tabbed a familiar opponent to start for the American League in Tuesday night’s All-Star Game in San Diego.
Chicago White Sox ace Chris Sale, who has a league-leading 14 victories with a 3.38 ERA, has made 17 starts among his 28 career appearances against the Royals.
The starter for the National League will be Johnny Cueto, who helped the Royals win the World Series last fall before signing with the San Francisco Giants as a free agent.
Sale unintentionally waded into the ongoing debate about having homefield advantage in the World Series tied to the winner of the All-Star Game.
“There are no repercussions in this game, other than having fun and competing,” Sale told reporters.
Both Yost and National League manager Terry Collins of the Mets said they view winning on Tuesday as pivotal.
“It’s vitally important,” Yost told reporters. “We’ve got a room full of tremendously talented players and if we win it’s going to affect one of them. ... It’s going to be huge for whoever gets to the World Series this year.”
Yost’s lineup for the game, which starts at 7 p.m. and will be shown on Fox, at Petco Park:
1. Astros second baseman Jose Altuve
2. Angels center fielder Mike Trout
3. Orioles third baseman Manny Machado
4. Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz
5. Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts
6. Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer
7. Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts
8. Royals catcher Salvador Perez
9. Red Sox left fielder Jackie Bradly, Jr.
A former Royal will bat leadoff for the National League.
1. Cubs second baseman Ben Zobrist
2. Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper
3. Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant
4. Padres designated hitter Wil Myers
5. Giants catcher Buster Posey
6. Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo
7. Marlins center fielder Marcell Ozuna
8. Rockies left fielder Carlos Gonzalez
9. Cubs shortstop Addison Russell
Royals relief pitcher Kelvin Herrera is also on the American League squad.