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VOTE NOW: Cubs have 7 All-Star finalists

Contreras, Baez begin final day in 1st; Bryzzo, outfielders need support
@MLBastian
June 27, 2019

With time running out in the All-Star Starters Election, many races are still too close to call, and your votes will have a huge impact as most position battles have yet to be decided. • VOTE NOW: Google MLB All-Star Starters Election CHICAGO -- Gallagher Way outside Wrigley Field was

With time running out in the All-Star Starters Election, many races are still too close to call, and your votes will have a huge impact as most position battles have yet to be decided.

VOTE NOW: Google MLB All-Star Starters Election

CHICAGO -- Gallagher Way outside Wrigley Field was a hive of activity on Wednesday night, when the Cubs campaigned for fans to elect Chicago's players into the All-Star Game.

Catcher Willson Contreras and shortstop Javier Báez ran away with the vote at their respective positions in the Primary round and had a strong early showing after the Starters Election got underway. The Cubs launched an "It Matters" campaign as part of the new All-Star voting process, because fans only get one vote in the Starters Election.

In all, the Cubs have seven finalists for the Starter's Election, tied for most in the Majors with the Astros and Braves. Beyond Contreras and Baez, third baseman Kris Bryant, first baseman Anthony Rizzo and outfielders Albert Almora Jr., Jason Heyward and Kyle Schwarber were also among the All-Star finalists, through trailing in the early polls.

Both Contreras and Baez are aiming to start for the National League for the second straight year.

"It would be really special for me and my family," Contreras said. "And it would be very special for the city and the team. I'm really proud of what I've done so far this year, the improvements that I have made since the season started. I'm looking forward to being the starter again."

Here's a look at who's leading as of 1:30 p.m. CT Thursday:

NL CATCHER
1) Willson Contreras (Cubs): 44.8%
2) Brian McCann (Braves): 32.6%
3) Yasmani Grandal (Brewers): 22.6%

NL FIRST BASE
1) Freddie Freeman (Braves): 38.7%
2) Josh Bell (Pirates): 36.5%
3) Anthony Rizzo (Cubs): 24.8%

NL THIRD BASE
1) Nolan Arenado (Rockies): 52.4%
2) Josh Donaldson (Braves): 24.7%
3) Kris Bryant (Cubs): 23.0%

NL SHORTSTOP
1) Javier Báez (Cubs): 43.6%
2) Trevor Story (Rockies): 29.3%
3) Dansby Swanson (Braves): 27.0%

NL OUTFIELD
1) Christian Yelich (Brewers): 22.3%
2) Cody Bellinger (Dodgers): 21.1%
3) Ronald Acuña Jr. (Braves): 14.9%
4) Charlie Blackmon (Rockies): 12.6%
5) Nick Markakis (Braves): 8.1%
6) Jason Heyward (Cubs): 6.5%
7) Kyle Schwarber (Cubs): 5.4%
8) Albert Almora Jr. (Cubs): 5.1%
9) Joc Pederson (Dodgers): 4.1%

Complete standings coverage

Pitchers and reserves will be named on Sunday at 5:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Baez finished third overall in total votes among National League players in the Primary with 2,598,426, trailing only Bellinger (3,685,170) and Yelich (3,646,071). Contreras was sixth in overall votes at 2,384,622.

If Baez and Contreras continue to stay atop the polls, they would become the first Cubs teammates to be in the NL's starting lineup in consecutive seasons since 1990-91 (Andre Dawson and Ryne Sandberg). Baez is looking to become the first Cubs middle infielder to start in consecutive years since Sandberg did from 1986-93. Meanwhile, Contreras would become the first Cubs catcher to start in back-to-back years since 1936-37 (Gabby Hartnett).

The 2019 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard will be played on Tuesday, July 9, at Progressive Field in Cleveland. It 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.

MLB Network, MLB.com and SiriusXM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. During the game, fans may visit MLB.com and the 30 club sites to submit their choices for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. For more information about MLB All-Star Week and to purchase tickets, please visit AllStarGame.com and follow @MLB and @AllStarGame on social media.

Jordan Bastian covers the Cubs for MLB.com. He previously covered the Indians from 2011-18 and the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian.