LOS ANGELES, Calif Those boyhood dreams are turning into reality this week for Tampa Bay pitcher Shane McClanahan. The left-hander, who turned 25 in April and is in his second full year as a starter, will be the starting pitcher for the American League in Tuesday night's All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium.Im honored, McClanahan said during a pre s conference on Monday. He'll face Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers, who's been McClanahan's idol growing up in the game. There are so many deserving guys in the AL who have had a heck of a year so far. To even be in consideration for this was truly just an honor for me. Id be lying to you if I told you I had never envisioned myself being on that mound competing against the best players in the world. For it to come true is truly an exciting opportunity for me.McClanahan has been the best pitcher in baseball this year.He Wilmer Difo Jersey has a 1.71 earned run average and 0.80 WHIP, and those numbers are best in the majors this season. He has 147 strikeouts, second only to Chicago's Dylan Cease. McClanahan allowed two earned runs or fewer in his last 13 starts.Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker is managing the AL squad in the All-Star game, and he picked McClanahan. Houston Justin Verlander and Los Angeles Angles two-way star Shohei Ohtani have both had big first halves, too, but Verlander just pitched on Sunday and the Angels want to start on Ohtani on Friday when the season resumes. McClanahan pitched last Wednesday in a win over Boston, so he's on full rest on Matt Adams Jersey Tuesday night."There was consideration," Baker said, "but from the information we received from Ohtani's camp was that he probably shouldn't or wouldn't start. That's why we chose Shane."Baker said he had never seen McClanahan pitch. The Rays and Astros haven't seen each other yet this year they play three games in St. Petersburg Sept 19-21 and three more in Houston from Sept. 30 to Oct. 2 but the 73-year-old manager is mistaken. McClanahan, who was called up for the 2020 postseason, pitched 1 1/3 innings against the Astros in an AL division series game.McClanahan was drafted in the first round of the 2018 MLB Draft by the Rays, and he's been making huge strides ever since. He has four pitches he can rely on in any count now, and has been dominant. He's given up one run or le s in seven straight starts.When manager Kevin Cash informed him that he'd been selected for the All-Star game last Sunday, the Rays' locker room erupted in joy. McClanahan, after getting hugs and high-fives from his teammates, had to wipe away tears before talking to the media about his selection.It was a mix of emotions. I was like Oh my god, this cant be real, he said. "It wasnt really on my mind (getting selected to the All-Star team). I want to win a lot of games for this team. That was first and foremost and thats all Ive really wanted to do. Whatever succe s I had because of that, follows.McClanahan has worked hard to fine-tune his game, and he's much more dangerous now that the hard-throwing but erratic at times youngster he was when he first got to the Rays. He was a fastball-slider guy, but since then has developed a plus-plus curveball and changeup.Scroll to ContinueAnd all that succe s Brian Dozier Jersey is paying off this year. That culminates for now with the All-Star start on Tuesday night.For me, its felt like a long time coming, he said. I think if you put the work in, you prepare, take it seriously and enjoy it, then good things happen. Be a good teammate, be a good person and good things will follow. What I try to do is take it day-by-day, enjoy it, and be the best teammate and person I can be.Cash has been impre sed with McClanahan during every start. He's glad to see the Max Scherzer Jersey nation witne s his succe s now, too. McClanahan is as deserving as any pitcher in baseball and any player in baseball, Cash said last week. I cant recall a better first half that Ive witne sed by a pitcher for us. A lot of the All-Stars that you see, and a lot of the great ones show consistency start after start, month after month, year after year, and Shane has certainly put himself in line with that.McClanahan said his parents ''acted surprised,'' when he called them last Sunday about his selection, but "I think they knew more than I did. They just told me how proud they were of me. And that meant a lot to hear.McClanahan said his parents and girlfriend are all in Los Angeles for the game. He's the only Rays player in the game, but he also feels like he's got all of his teammates with him. That's how close this group is.Every single one of them came up to me and hugged me and just told me how proud of me they are. That was pretty special. McClanahan said.He's earned it, Cash said.Where Shane has come from, from 2020 kind of ambushing him saying, Hey, youre on a postseason roster, to basically a sinker-slider pitcher who threw 100 (mph) that probably didnt know where its going, and now you can make the argument that hes been as polished as any pitcher in baseball,Tuesday's All-Star Game starts at 8 p.m. ET. It was be televised on FOX.All-Star photo gallery Dusty BakerHouston Astros manager Dusty Baker will manage the American League team in Tuesday night's All-Star Game. (USA TODAY Sports) Clayton Kershaw, Ryan Zimmerman Jersey Brian SnitkerLos Angeles Dodgers star Clayton Kershaw will pitch for the National League team in Tuesday night's All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium. This is his ninth All-Star game, but his first start. (USA TODAY Sports) Kyle SchwarberPhiladelphia Phillies All-Star Kyle Schwarber meets with the media. (USA TODAY Sports) Kyle SchwarberKyle Schwarber of the Philadelphia Phillies participating in the home run derby and will also play in Tuesday night's All-Star Game. He has 29 home runs this season. (USA TODAY Sports) Shane McClanahanTampa Bay Rays pitcher Shane McClanahan will start for the American League team in Tuesday night's All-Star Game. (USA TODAY Sports) Shane McClanahanTampa Bay Rays pitcher Shane McClanahan will start for the American League team in Tuesday night's All-Star Game. (USA TODAY Sports) Dusty Baker, Shane McClanahanHouston Astros manager Dusty Baker (left) has chosen Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Shane McClanahan will start for the American League team in Tuesday night's All-Star Game. (USA TODAY Sports)