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Altuve takes overall lead in AL in ballot update

MLB.com

HOUSTON -- The Astros are surging.

VOTE: 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot

HOUSTON -- The Astros are surging.

VOTE: 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot

Jose Altuve may the best safest bet to land as an American League starter after taking the MLB voting lead in the latest 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot update on Tuesday. Altuve is clobbering fellow competitors at second base, racing ahead with 1,572,101 votes, with Yankees rookie Gleyber Torres in second place (534,758) at the position.

"I think it's remarkable, and I think it's well deserved for someone who represents our game in exceptional fashion," Astros manager AJ Hinch said. "I think the voters are getting it right. He's every bit of what's right about baseball. I love the guy and I'm happy that he's getting the recognition that he should."

Altuve, who overtook Mookie Betts (1,568,417 votes) as the top vote-getter since last week's first ballot update, became the first player to reach 100 hits in Monday's 5-4 win against the Rays. Altuve's 102 hits are the most among all MLB players, and his .342 batting average is the highest in the AL.

It appears the reigning AL Most Valuable Player Award winner is a lock to represent the Astros as a starter for the fourth consecutive year.

"It's good. It means that you're doing something good for your team," Altuve said. "The way I see it is every time somebody votes for you, it's also supporting your team. That's what we're here for. Obviously we've been playing really good."

Video: Altuve on being leading vote-getter for All-Star Game

With 458,367 votes, Carlos Correa has jumped ahead two spots since the previous update and only trails Manny Machado (671,133) at shortstop. The 2017 All-Star starter leaped over Francisco Lindor (420,674) and Didi Gregorius (413,135). Correa has batted .345 in his past seven games, with 10 hits, three homers and eight RBIs.

Fellow 2017 All-Star starter George Springer, and all other AL outfielders, lag behind three superstar goliaths in Betts, Mike Trout (1,323,292) and Aaron Judge (1,061,370). Springer, who has 511,815 votes, remains in fifth place behind No. 4 Indians outfielder Michael Brantley (518,350).

Designated hitter Evan Gattis, who was named AL Player of the Week on Monday, has drawn plenty of attention. Gattis, who was ranked fourth in the AL's DH spot in last week's update, has jumped to third place with 363,362 votes. Gattis is batting .378 with six homers and 21 RBIs in his past 12 games.

Third baseman Alex Bregman, first baseman Yuli Gurriel and catcher Brian McCann are also in third in their respective races. Marwin Gonzalez (eighth) and Josh Reddick (10th) are in the top 10 among AL outfielders.

Fans may cast votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- on computers, tablets and smartphones -- exclusively online using the 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot until Thursday, July 5, at 11:59 p.m. ET. On smartphones and tablets, fans can also access the ballot via the MLB At Bat and MLB Ballpark mobile apps. Each fan can vote up to five times in any 24-hour period, for a maximum of 35 ballots cast.

Following the announcement of this year's All-Star starters, reserves and pitchers, fans should return to MLB.com and cast their 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Final Vote for the final player on each league's roster. Then on Tuesday, July 17, while watching the 2018 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard live on FOX, fans may visit MLB.com to submit their choices for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet with the 2018 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote.

The 89th Midsummer Classic, at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by partners in more than 180 countries. FOX Deportes will provide Spanish-language coverage in the United States, while ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network, MLB.com and SiriusXM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information about MLB All-Star Week and to purchase tickets, please visit AllStarGame.com and follow @MLB and @AllStarGame on social media.

Christian Boutwell is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston.

Houston Astros, Jose Altuve