On Tuesday, Major League Baseball announced that the 2026 All-Star Game will be held at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, 50 years after Veterans Stadium hosted the ASG for the United States’ bicentennial. (2026 will be the U.S.’s sestercentennial, if you enjoy that sort of nomenclature.) MLB has not announced the sites for the All-Star Games for 2021-25 (the next two are in Cleveland and Los Angeles), but having Philadelphia be the host for the country’s 250th birthday makes perfect sense.
Yes, 2026 seems like a long way away, but it really isn’t -- it’ll be here before you know it. (After all, seven years ago, MLB’s best player was ... Mike Trout.) So, as a thought exercise, we thought it might be fun to try to guess what the starting lineups might be for the 2026 All-Star Game in Philly. It’s possible we’ll all be voting using jet packs in 2026, but we’ll still be voting. Here’s a guess at what that starting lineup will look like.
C: Adley Rutschman
This might be a lot to put on a kid who’s currently, uh, in college at Oregon State … but consider this an educated guess, since there is a good chance he is the first overall pick in this June’s Draft, and the Orioles have that pick. You’re going to be hearing his name a ton over the next decade.
1B: Matt Olson
First base is a tough position to prognosticate, because you never know who might play a certain position now but ultimately be moved to first. (Bryce Harper, maybe?) But the best young first baseman currently in the AL is Olson … though it’s possible he’s playing for someone other than the A’s in 2026.
2B: Nick Madrigal
As tempting as it is to put Jose Altuve here, he’ll be 35 in 2026, which is a tad too old for anyone to feel comfortable with him remaining a middle-infield All-Star. The pick here is Madrigal, who was the No. 4 overall pick in the 2018 Draft. He is one of the many White Sox prospects coming down the line who should be reaching his peak around 2026.
SS: Francisco Lindor
He is young enough to still be a star in 2026, and while there is a decent chance he is no longer on the Indians at that point, it wouldn’t be surprising if he’s on another AL team -- perhaps, say, the Yankees.
3B: Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
Guerrero will (probably) be just about to hit free agency in 2026. That this is already something to be thinking about tells you just how transcendent a talent that’s about to be unleashed on the American League.
OF: Mike Trout
He’s going to still be on this list for the tercentennial. (That’s 300 years.)
OF: Mookie Betts
You’ve got to think he’s too valuable to ever get away from the Red Sox, and remember, he’s a year younger than Trout.
OF: Eloy Jiménez
When your White Sox teammates are comparing you to Babe Ruth before you’ve played your first Major League game, you might have some staying power. Conveniently, the Sox hold a 2026 option as potentially the final year of the long-term deal he just signed.
DH: Alex Bregman
It’s either him or Carlos Correa … though they might not be teammates in 2026 like they are now. Aaron Judge wouldn’t be a terrible fit here, either.
SP: Forrest Whitley
Trying to guess what any pitchers is going to be doing in seven years is a fool’s errand … but if you’re gonna wager on anyone, the No. 1 pitching prospect currently in the Minors is your guy.
C: Joey Bart
The current top catching prospect in baseball figures to carry on the tradition of All-Star catchers in San Francisco deep into the next decade.
1B: Pete Alonso
Alonso is already 24, a little old for a rookie, but his skill set seems the sort that will still be plenty intact when he’s 31. Betting on longevity in Queens is not always the wisest play, but how do you let a crowd-pleaser like this guy get out of town?
2B: Javier Báez
How in the world is Javier Baez only 26 still? He might not have the speed and agility he has now when he’s 33, but he’ll still have those defensive skills, and he’ll still be swinging out of his shoes, very likely on the North Side of Chicago.
SS: Fernando Tatis Jr.
He’s already first in WAR on a first-place Padres team in 2019, at the age of 20. Imagine what he’ll be doing in 2026.
3B: Nolan Arenado
Will he have passed Todd Helton as the best Colorado Rockie ever by 2026?
OF: Bryce Harper
He will be just halfway through this contract when he trots out to the outfield to play in front of the hometown fans.
OF: Christian Yelich
He has established himself as one of baseball’s elite over the last year-plus, and he’s still only 26. Plus, he’s such a perfect fit in Milwaukee that it wouldn’t be the least bit surprising to see him as a lifelong Brewer.
OF: Ronald Acuña Jr.
And we know he’ll still be a Brave when this ASG arrives given his recent contract extension. Which means Phillies fans are certainly going to boo him.
DH: Manny Machado
In 2026, he will be the same age as Lorenzo Cain is right now, and still under contract with the Padres.
SP: German Márquez
There’s a non-zero possibility he’s already the best pitcher Rockies fans have ever seen, and he’s only 24. Though, as with the AL starting pitcher, the pick here is probably some 17-year-old none of us have ever heard of.
What’s the world going to look like in 2026? We may be playing baseball on the moon, for all we know. But if you’ve gotta put together a sestercentennial baseball game … this lineup looks like as excellent a guess as any.