Typically the All-Star Game is preceded by a Home Run Derby a day earlier. But in the event of an All-Star tie after nine innings, another Home Run Derby will break out.
Beginning with Tuesday night’s All-Star Game presented by MasterCard and continuing at least through the life of the current collective bargaining agreement, any All-Star Game tied after nine innings will be settled not with extra innings but with an All-Star Tiebreaker decided by dingers.
Here’s how it would work:
The managers of the American League and National League squads will each select three players (and one alternate, in the event of an injury) on his roster who have agreed to participate, as well as three coaches to throw batting practice. Each player will get three swings, and the team with the highest combined homer total after those three rounds will be declared the winner of the game.
If this comes to pass, the players for each side on Tuesday would be:
AL: Ty France, Julio Rodriguez, Kyle Tucker
NL: Pete Alonso, Ronald Acuña Jr., Kyle Schwarber
Play will briefly be paused to allow the grounds crew to reconfigure the field. Each player who participates will get three swings to hit as many home runs as possible. Each player can take an unlimited number of pitches without it counting against their total swing.
Players on each team may hit in any order, with the two teams alternating. The visiting team (AL) will hit first and the home team (NL) second. Once all six participants have completed their swings, the team with the most total home runs shall be declared the winner of the All-Star Game. In the event of a tie, each manager shall select one of the participating players to take three swings to break the tie. This head-to-head format will continue until the tie is broken. The manager is permitted to select a different batter to participate in subsequent head-to-head rounds, as long as he was one of the original three participants (or the alternate in the event of an injury).
If all of this indeed comes to pass, the game in the record books would be considered a tie with a notation that one league defeated the other in a home run swing-off, and there would be no winning or losing pitcher. Additionally, the All-Star Game MVP Award would be based on what happened in the nine-inning game.
The new format was negotiated as part of the CBA that went into effect this season. It will be in place for at least the duration of the CBA, which runs through 2026.
The All-Star Game has gone to extra innings 13 times, most recently the 2018 game at Nationals Park in Washington, DC, that was won by the AL, 8-6, in 10 innings.