There was a time, not all that long ago, that the MLB All Star Game may as well have not even existed to Houston Astro fans. The year 2013 was only six seasons ago, and back then, catcher Jason Castro was participating in that game solely because the rules said the Astros had to send SOMEONE. Nowadays, the All Star Game may as well be the Astros Invitational, as they could send at least a half dozen or so players to represent the American League.
For those of you wondering how the voting works this year, pay attention — the only thing missing now to get the MLB All Star Game starting lineups filled is an electoral college. Here you go:
When is the Primary Round held?
The Primary began at 2 p.m. ET on Tuesday and will continue until Friday, June 21, at 4 p.m. The Primary will be used to determine the top three vote-getters at every position but the outfield, where the top nine vote-getters will advance to The Starters Election.
When will the finalists be revealed?
During MLB Network’s coverage of the Astros-Yankees game at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, June 21.
When is The Starters Election held?
Voting will launch at noon ET on Wednesday, June 26, and conclude at 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 27.
Do vote totals from The Primary carry over to The Starters Election?
No. The slate will be wiped clean for the three players per position (and nine outfielders) in each league who advance to that part of the process.
So now, in order to stay in the mix to be a starter in the Midsummer Classic, you just need to hang around in the top three (or in the outfield, top nine) through the first phase of voting, and as a result, because they are the best team in baseball, the Astros should have damn near their whole starting lineup (when healthy) advancing to the Starters Election.
The first update on Primary Round voting was revealed earlier this week, and needless to say, the Astros are stacking up big vote totals:
1) Gary Sanchez, Yankees — 737,107
2) James McCann, White Sox — 289,475
3) Jason Castro, Twins — 199,497
4) Robinson Chirinos, Astros — 197,976
5) Christian Vazquez, Red Sox — 183,291
6) Jonathan Lucroy, Angels 139,059
7) Josh Phegley, Athletics — 89,795
8) Mike Zunino, Rays — 64,167
9) Martin Maldonado, Royals — 56,763
10) Roberto Perez, Indians — 55,799
Chirinos' one-year, $5.75 million contract has been one of the more underrated signings in the American League this season. Ironically, he is chasing the aforementioned Castro for a spot in the Starters Election, trailing by a mere 1,521 votes.
1) Luke Voit, Yankees — 393,356
2) C.J. Cron, Twins — 302,586
3) Jose Abreu, White Sox 286,145
4) Carlos Santana, Indians — 250,615
5) Albert Pujols, Angels — 192,816
6) Yuli Gurriel, Astros — 188,318
7) Miguel Cabrera, Tigers — 180,803
8) Mitch Moreland, Red Sox — 116,979
9) Ji-Man Choi, Rays — 77,847
10) Chris Davis, Orioles — 70,010
Yuli Gurriel has been one of the few disappointments for the Astros this season, and it's too bad. If he were putting up even decent numbers, he might be able to squeeze his way into a packed field at first base. As it is, let's just hope he gets his OPS over .700 at some point.
1) Tommy La Stella, Angels — 487,598
2) Jose Altuve, Astros — 448,131
3) DJ LeMahieu, Yankees — 379,820
4) Jonathan Schoop, Twins — 179,792
5) Michael Chavis, Red Sox — 156,208
6) Whit Merrifield, Royals — 146,670
7) Brandon Lowe, Rays — 110,507
8) Dee Gordon, Mariners — 63,483
9) Yolmer Sanchez, White Sox — 55,079
10) Jason Kipnis, Indians — 50,065
Altuve has started the last four All Star Games, and even though he trails La Stella in the Primary Round, I think that ultimately, Altuve will resonate in a three-man field, despite missing a large chunk of the season with leg injuries and hitting a very pedestrian .241 thus far this season.
1) Alex Bregman, Astros — 630,159
2) Gio Urshela, Yankees — 269,716
3) Hunter Dozier, Royals — 216,809
4) Rafael Devers, Red Sox — 202,569
5) Matt Chapman, Athletics — 159,155
6) Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Blue Jays — 150,074
7) Marwin Gonzalez, Twins — 132,235
8) Yoan Moncada, White Sox — 122,121
9) David Fletcher, Angels — 90,761
10) Yandy Diaz, Rays — 62,930
Bregman is going to run away with this one, and will be the starter at third base in the American League for the next five or six seasons, at least. Book it.
1) Jorge Polanco, Twins — 395,210
2) Carlos Correa, Astros — 329,421
3) Gleyber Torres, Yankees — 322,958
4) Tim Anderson, White Sox — 281,862
5) Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox — 220,317
6) Francisco Lindor, Indians — 175,868
7) Andrelton Simmons, Angels — 130,774
8) Adalberto Mondesi, Royals — 81,777
9) Elvis Andrus, Rangers — 73,559
10) Willy Adames, Rays — 60,392
Correa's in the hunt right now despite having his rib caged massacred by the baddest masseuse on the planet. Polanco has broken out with a career year, so ultimately, he probably wins, but you just don't know under this new system.
1) Mike Trout, Angels — 951,002
2) George Springer, Astros — 776,352
3) Austin Meadows, Rays — 468,111
4) Michael Brantley, Astros — 458,577
5) Mookie Betts, Red Sox — 450,407
6) Eddie Rosario, Twins — 344,215
7) Aaron Judge, Yankees — 308,134
8) Joey Gallo, Rangers — 281,179
9) Josh Reddick, Astros — 220,079
10) Max Kepler, Twins — 202,822
11) Byron Buxton, Twins — 192,230
12) Andrew Benintendi, Red Sox — 138,911
13) Brett Gardner, Yankees — 138,426
14) Jackie Bradley Jr., Red Sox — 124,490
15) Tommy Pham, Rays — 119,691
16) Aaron Hicks, Yankees — 110,139
17) Trey Mancini, Orioles — 100,457
18) Shin-Soo Choo, Rangers — 95,875
19) Kevin Kiermaier, Rays — 76,526
20) Kole Calhoun, Angels — 74,625
As of the first voting update, all three Astro outfielders are in the hunt to be part of the Starters Election, and all three are having good to great seasons. Springer was the MVP front runner when he went out with a hamstring injury, Brantley is in the MVP conversation, and Reddick has flashed his customary leather to go with a .300-plus batting average all season long.
1) J.D. Martinez, Red Sox — 491,955
2) Hunter Pence, Rangers — 329,321
3) Nelson Cruz, Twins — 214,702
4) Shohei Ohtani, Angels — 166,275
5) Giancarlo Stanton, Yankees — 157,411
6) Aledmys Diaz, Astros — 152,614
7) Khris Davis, Athletics — 140,227
8) Daniel Vogelbach, Mariners — 131,700
9) Avisail Garcia, Rays — 127,731
10) Yonder Alonso, White Sox — 71,174
This position is a write-off for the Astros. even fully healthy, Diaz would have no chance, and with a pulled hamstring keeping him on the Injured List, he is out of sight and out of mind. My overall prediction right now is that the Astros will get three starters (Altuve, Bregman, Springer), three pitchers (Verlander, Pressly, Osuna), and one reserve (Brantley).
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