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Races get close as All-Star voting nears wire

Fans have until Thursday to cast votes for Midsummer Classic starters
MLB.com @feinsand

The would-be All-Star starters remain the same in both leagues, but with only three days left to vote on the 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot, there are five spots that remain too close to call.

VOTE NOW: 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot

The would-be All-Star starters remain the same in both leagues, but with only three days left to vote on the 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot, there are five spots that remain too close to call.

VOTE NOW: 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot

The Reds' Scooter Gennett and the Cubs' Javier Baez are pushing Ozzie Albies of the Braves at second base in the National League, while a pair of Astros -- shortstop Carlos Correa and first baseman Yuli Gurriel -- are trying to make lates move to take the voting lead at their respective positions in the American League.

Another Houston player, second baseman Jose Altuve, continues to have the highest vote total of any player in either league. Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman leads all NL players in votes.

The Red Sox have two players -- Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez -- in line to start in the AL, while the Braves have three (Albies, Freeman and Nick Markakis) in the NL.

Voting to decide the starters for the 89th All-Star Game presented by Mastercard on July 17 at Washington's Nationals Park continues until 11:59 p.m. ET on Thursday.

Here are the latest voting results for both leagues:

AMERICAN LEAGUE

CATCHER
1. Wilson Ramos, Rays: 1,556,195
2. Gary Sanchez, Yankees: 1,116,568
3. Brian McCann, Astros: 961,325
4. Salvador Perez, Royals: 614,492
5. Yan Gomes, Indians: 522,139

There was no movement in the top five this week, though Ramos stretched his lead by about 280,000 votes over Sanchez, who landed on the disabled list with a groin injury. The Rays backstop, whose .290 average and 74 hits are tops among AL catchers, has a commanding lead of nearly 440,000 votes, putting him in good position to earn his first career All-Star start.

FIRST BASE
1. Jose Abreu, White Sox: 1,312,221
2. Yuli Gurriel, Astros: 1,088,068
3. Mitch Moreland, Red Sox: 907,955
4. Albert Pujols, Angels: 688,594
5. Miguel Cabrera, Tigers: 499,603

Gurriel picked up about 92,000 votes this week, moving within 224,000 of Abreu, whose 50 RBIs continue to be tops among AL first basemen. The rest of the top five remains the same, though this appears to be a two-man race. Moreland, whose .889 OPS leads all AL players at his position, sits in third place.

Video: KC@HOU: Gurriel cracks a grand slam to left field

SECOND BASE
1. Jose Altuve, Astros: 3,405,815
2. Gleyber Torres, Yankees: 997,724
3. Dee Gordon, Mariners: 528,270
4. Jason Kipnis, Indians: 372,885
5. Jed Lowrie, Athletics: 255,092

Altuve's place in the AL starting lineup is secure, while his overall vote lead stands at 286,709 over Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts. Torres, Gordon and Kipnis remain in the three spots behind Altuve, while Oakland's Jed Lowrie moved past Boston's Dustin Pedroia to regain fifth place.

THIRD BASE
1. Jose Ramirez, Indians: 1,811,902
2. Alex Bregman, Astros: 1,050,370
3. Miguel Andujar, Yankees: 963,641
4. Adrian Beltre, Rangers: 590,283
5. Kyle Seager, Mariners: 447,940

Ramirez's lead grew by more than 205,000 votes this week, giving him a comfortable 761,000-vote lead over Bregman, who surged past Andujar into the No. 2 spot. Ramirez is tied for second in the Majors with 24 home runs, one behind Boston designated hitter J.D. Martinez. Seager moved into the top five, replacing the Royals' Mike Moustakas.

Video: CLE@OAK: Ramirez drills an RBI double to deep left

SHORTSTOP
1. Manny Machado, Orioles: 1,272,233
2. Carlos Correa, Astros: 1,135,152
3. Francisco Lindor, Indians: 898,977
4. Didi Gregorius, Yankees: 824,710
5. Jean Segura, Mariners: 675,140

Correa landed on the disabled list with a back ailment on Friday, and while the Astros' star isn't expected to miss much time, it remains to be seen whether his inactivity during the final days of voting hinders his ability to challenge Machado. Correa picked up more than 30,000 votes on Machado this week, leaving a 137,000-vote gap between them. Lindor jumped back into third ahead of Gregorius, while Segura continues to round out the top five.

Video: LAA@BAL: Machado crushes a 2-run homer to deep left

OUTFIELD
1. Mookie Betts, Red Sox: 3,119,106
2. Mike Trout, Angels: 2,666,972
3. Aaron Judge, Yankees: 2,021,348
4. George Springer, Astros: 1,141,661
5. Michael Brantley, Indians: 1,093,376
6. Andrew Benintendi, Red Sox: 1,071,135
7. Marwin Gonzalez, Astros: 768,281
8. Josh Reddick, Astros: 706,145
9. Eddie Rosario, Twins: 666,108
10. Mitch Haniger, Mariners: 652,563
11. Brett Gardner, Yankees: 636,087
12. Jackie Bradley Jr., Red Sox: 506,993
13. Aaron Hicks, Yankees: 483,574
14. Nicholas Castellanos, Tigers: 469,578
15. Tyler Naquin, Indians: 344,639

Betts, Trout and Judge continue to hold sizeable leads to be the starters, while the top seven spots remain unchanged from a week ago. Reddick and Rosario surged two spots each, knocking Gardner down to the No. 11 spot. Betts might be assured a starting spot in the AL outfield, but his chances of catching Altuve for the overall lead look bleak as the gap swelled from 123,453 a week ago to 286,709 this week. The only change on the list this week? Cleveland's Tyler Naquin, who replaced Seattle's Ben Gamel to return to the top 15.

Video: BOS@NYY: Judge crushes a solo homer to center

DESIGNATED HITTER
1. J.D. Martinez, Red Sox: 2,236,945
2. Giancarlo Stanton, Yankees: 977,274
3. Evan Gattis, Astros: 953,460
4. Nelson Cruz, Mariners: 601,794
5. Edwin Encarnacion, Indians: 559,915

Martinez's lead over his pinstriped rival Stanton swelled from 936,000 to more than 1.25 million, lining up the Major League home run leader for his first All-Star start and second overall selection. Stanton and Gattis remain behind Martinez, while Cruz climbed to the No. 4 spot and Encarnacion returned to the top five, knocking injured Angels star Shohei Ohtani off the list.

Video: J.D. sets Boston franchise record for HRs before July

NATIONAL LEAGUE

CATCHER
1. Buster Posey, Giants: 1,384,631
2. Willson Contreras, Cubs: 1,240,132
3. Kurt Suzuki, Braves: 1,174,470
4. Yadier Molina, Cardinals: 913,149
5. J.T. Realmuto, Marlins: 818,925

Posey led Contreras by roughly 92,000 votes a week ago, but the Giants' catcher saw his lead grow to more than 144,000 votes. Suzuki remains a dark-horse contender, sitting about 210,000 votes behind Posey, who would be making his fourth straight start and fifth of his career. Realmuto, who leads NL catchers with a .908 OPS, makes his first appearance in the top five, knocking Yasmani Grandal of the Dodgers off the list.

Video: MIA@SF: Posey opens the scoring with a solo homer

FIRST BASE
1. Freddie Freeman, Braves: 2,905,301
2. Anthony Rizzo, Cubs: 1,178,915
3. Brandon Belt, Giants: 802,027
4. Cody Bellinger, Dodgers: 661,485
5. Joey Votto, Reds: 479,803

Freeman's place in the NL's starting lineup seems to be locked in thanks to a vote total more than twice of his nearest competitor. Although the top spot isn't in doubt, it should be noted that Joey Votto of the Reds moved back into the top five after being bumped out by the Cardinals' Jose Martinez last week.

SECOND BASE
1. Ozzie Albies, Braves: 1,857,185
2. Scooter Gennett, Reds: 1,689,393
3. Javier Baez, Cubs: 1,586,888
4. Joe Panik, Giants: 493,573
5. Logan Forsythe, Dodgers: 379,325

Albies lengthened his lead over Baez, but the Cubs' second baseman might not be the one to watch. Gennett is making a late move to challenge Albies for the starting job, picking up nearly 75,000 votes on the leader this week to move within roughly 168,000 votes of the top spot. Gennett (.898), Baez (.892) and Albies (.823) finished the week with the top three OPS among qualified NL second basemen.

Video: ATL@STL: Albies bloops an RBI single into left-center

THIRD BASE
1. Nolan Arenado, Rockies: 2,326,711
2. Kris Bryant, Cubs: 1,370,631
3. Johan Camargo, Braves: 868,860
4. Eugenio Suarez, Reds: 601,219
5. Justin Turner, Dodgers: 496,912

Just as Arenado took the NL lead in home runs with two against the Dodgers this weekend, the Rockies' third baseman saw his vote lead at third base swell by nearly 310,000 this week. Arenado is more than 950,000 votes ahead of Bryant, putting the Rockies star in position to make his second straight All-Star start and fourth consecutive appearance.

Video: COL@LAD: Arenado crushes a solo homer to center field

SHORTSTOP
1. Brandon Crawford, Giants: 2,303,516
2. Dansby Swanson, Braves: 1,162,263
3. Addison Russell, Cubs: 1,026,014
4. Trevor Story, Rockies: 820,484
5. Chris Taylor, Dodgers: 498,570

Crawford, whose .315 average and .884 OPS are No. 1 among NL shortstops, continues to hold a commanding lead at the position, setting him up for his second career All-Star appearance and first starting nod. The only change in the top five this week was the emergence of Chris Taylor of the Dodgers, who pushed his way past Washington's Trea Turner for the No. 5 spot.

OUTFIELD
1. Nick Markakis, Braves: 2,457,648
2. Matt Kemp, Dodgers: 2,046,534
3. Bryce Harper, Nationals: 1,777,221
4. Charlie Blackmon, Rockies: 1,310,107
5. Ronald Acuna Jr., Braves: 1,204,321
6. Ender Inciarte, Braves: 1,101,511
7. Jason Heyward, Cubs: 1,018,320
8. Kyle Schwarber, Cubs: 939,907
9. Ben Zobrist, Cubs: 900,316
10. Christian Yelich, Brewers: 708,250
11. Odubel Herrera, Phillies: 664,335
12. Lorenzo Cain, Brewers: 613,205
13. Andrew McCutchen, Giants: 595,907
14. Corey Dickerson, Pirates: 540,093
15. Yasiel Puig, Dodgers: 509,936

This list looks remarkably similar to last week's as the top 10 vote-getters remain the same. Markakis and Kemp appear to have locked up their starting spots, while Harper -- who has said he would participate in the T-Mobile Home Run Derby as long as he's on the NL roster -- maintains a comfortable 467,000-vote lead over Blackmon. The Nos. 11-15 spots feature the same names as a week ago, though Herrera jumped from No. 14 to 11, flipping spots with Dickerson.

Video: WSH@PHI: Harper hits a 3-run homer for 20th of 2018

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 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, visit AllStarGame.com and follow @MLB and @AllStarGame on social media.

Mark Feinsand, an executive reporter, originally joined MLB.com as a reporter in 2001.