Smoltz says Harvey deserves to start All-Star Game

Former Atlanta Braves pitcher and current baseball analyst John Smoltz believes that New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey deserves to start for the National League in the upcoming All-Star Game that will be held in front of his home crowd at Citi Field.

"The Mets are in transition. They've had a nice rebound the last month, but he deserves to start the All-Star Game," said Smoltz during a conference call promoting the upcoming American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament. "The city deserves to see him start the All-Star Game and I guarantee [National League manager] Bruce Bochy isn't upset with him starting the All-Star Game if he does, because it helps the National League get a leg up."

New York manager Terry Collins, who will be on Bochy's All-Star staff, is doing his part to make sure Harvey gets the nod, skipping the right-hander's final scheduled start before the break on Saturday against the Pirates.

"It's a brilliant move," said Smoltz of Collins' decision.

Harvey is 7-2 with a 2.35 ERA and 0.92 WHIP in 19 starts over the first half of the season. His ERA is fourth-best in the National League and his 147 strikeouts over 130 innings are tops in the Senior Circuit.

"He's a cross between Tom Seaver and Roger Clemens," said Smoltz of Harvey. "He's got an incredible future."

Smoltz hits Edgewood Golf Course in Tahoe, NV from July 19-21 to participate in the American Century Championship. An avid golfer, Smoltz is listed at 5-1 odds to win the tournament, which can be seen on NBC Sports Network Friday, July 19 and on NBC Saturday, July 20 and Sunday, July 21.