Sean Pendergast

MLB All Star Ballot Is Out, How To Vote For Your Astros

Jose Altuve should start in the All Star Game next month.
Jose Altuve should start in the All Star Game next month. Photo by Jack Gorman
Since their run of five straight ALCS postseasons began in 2017, the postseason has become an assumed home for the Houston Astros come October. If there is playoff baseball being played in the American League, for the last five seasons, the Astros are art of it, up to and sometimes including the World Series. However, there is another dot on the calendar that has become woven into the tapestry of each Astros' season — the MLB All Star Game!

This season, the ballot for the Midsummer Classic just dropped online about a week ago. You can vote up to five times, and every team is represented at each position. Per MLB.com, here are the guidelines for voting and the methodology MLB will use to choose the starters in the game:
Phase 1 of All-Star voting opened at 11:59 a.m. ET on Wednesday and will continue until 2 p.m. ET on June 30. During Phase 1, fans around the world can fill out a 2022 Chevrolet MLB All-Star Ballot as many as five times per every 24-hour period. You can vote exclusively at MLB.com, on all 30 MLB club sites and on the MLB app.

The top two vote-getters at each position, including designated hitter, and the top six outfielders in each league will be revealed on MLB Network at 5:00 p.m. ET on June 30. The leading vote-getter in each league will receive a spot in their team’s starting lineup while the other top vote-getters will advance to Phase 2 of voting. If an outfielder is a league’s leading vote-getter, only the next four outfield finalists will move on to Phase 2 to determine who starts at the two remaining spots.

The second phase of All-Star voting will begin at noon ET on July 5 and continue until 2 p.m. ET on July 8. During this period, fans can vote only once for whom they want to see in Midsummer Classic, and vote totals from Phase 1 don’t carry over.

This will all lead up to the 2022 Chevrolet MLB All-Star Starters Reveal show on July 8.
It should be noted that pitchers and reserves will be chosen by a combination of fellow players, coaches, and the commissioner's office. Having managed the team that represented the American League in the World Series last season, Dusty Baker will skipper the American League in the All Star Game, and he said over the weekend that he will appeal to the commissioner's office to allow him to bring the entire Astros staff along:
Now onto the important part — which Astros should be selected to play in the actual game? Over the last five seasons, the Astros have routinely sent several players to the game (or at least had several selected, as last season the Astros selected chose to abstain from the game). This season, as of mid-June, I think the landscape looks like this:

SHOULD START — Jose Altuve, 2B; Yordan Alvarez, DH
Since returning from the injured list on May 2, Altuve has .306 batting average and an OPS of .972, while smashing 11 home runs. Any concern of age catching up with Altuve is out the window. He's as good as he ever was, and deserves to start the All Star Game. Meanwhile, Alvarez has been the hottest hitter in baseball over the last few weeks, including garnering American League Player of the Week honors earlier this month. Alvarez signed a six year contract extension last week for over $100 million, and has firmly planted himself in the AL MVP race.

SHOULD GET STRONG CONSIDERATION — Jeremy Pena, SS; Kyle Tucker, RF
If all the things that have exceeded expectations this season for the Astros, Pena easily tops the list. He is the front runner for AL Rookie of the Year, and is making the decision to move on from Carlos Correa (and his $35 million salary) look like James Click's best one yet. Pena has been not just one of the best rookie shortstops, but one of the best shortstops PERIOD.
Tucker is having another hard luck year at the plate, where his quality of contact exceeds his actual numbers, but like 2021, the luck is beginning to balance out. Meanwhile, he's been elite defensively, leading all outfielders in defensive runs saved this season.
SHOULD BE SELECTED (Pitcher) — Justin Verlander
Verlander probably sits alongside Pena as the most pleasant surprise this season. I think the Astros probably watched his workouts and thought they would have a very solid starter, assuming the Tommy John surgery held up. Hell, that's why they gave him $25 million. However, even the Astros couldn't have thought it would go THIS well for Verlander. He is back to workhorse ace status, leading the league in wins (8), innings pitched (78.1) and WHIP (0.814).

SHOULD BE CONSIDERED (Pitcher) — Framber Valdez
Pitching is so far ahead of hitting this season that it may be tough for someone with Framber's numbers (6-3, 2.84 ERA) and lack of All Star pedigree to make the squad, but for the Astros' purposes, he has done an amazing job of filling Lance McCullers' role as a solid 1A to Verlander's ace status. Valdez has been a workhorse of near Verlander proportions, with 75 innings pitched thus far.

Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/SeanTPendergast and like him on Facebook at facebook.com/SeanTPendergast.
KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Sean Pendergast is a contributing freelance writer who covers Houston area sports daily in the News section, with periodic columns and features, as well. He also hosts afternoon drive on SportsRadio 610, as well as the post game show for the Houston Texans.
Contact: Sean Pendergast