Final Vote underway for last AL, NL spots
Tulo contending with 4 pitchers on NL side; 5 position players vying on AL side
Balloting is under way through 4 p.m. ET on Friday in the Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote, a four-day blitz in which unique campaign alliances will form, digital balloting records will probably fall and fans will decide the 34th and final roster spots for the 86th Midsummer Classic on July 14 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.
National League candidates presented by manager Bruce Bochy include: Reds right-hander Johnny Cueto, Mets closer Jeurys Familia, Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw, Cardinals right-hander Carlos Martinez and Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki.
American League candidates presented by manager Ned Yost include Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts, Tigers outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, Twins second baseman Brian Dozier, Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner and Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas.
More on-field cases were made on Tuesday, as Cueto fired a two-hit shutout with 11 strikeouts at Washington; Bogaerts doubled and then provided the three-run single that led Boston past Miami; Gardner reached base twice and scored against Oakland; Dozier drove in his 43rd run for Minnesota; and Tulowitzki had an RBI single for the Rockies.
To receive the 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote mobile ballot, text the word VOTE to 89269 (USA) or 101010 (Canada). Message and data rates may apply. Up to five messages may be received following your vote. Text STOP to opt-out at any time. For help, text HELP.
To cast a mobile ballot, text A3 to vote for AL Player 3 or N3 to vote for NL Player 3.
The 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote (#FinalVote) will include a social balloting element as Twitter support from candidates' fans over the last six hours of balloting will count toward such candidates' final vote totals. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, any public tweet that includes a hashtag designated for a candidate will be tabulated as part of that candidates' overall Final Vote total used to determine the AL and NL winners.
More than 480 million votes have been cast in the previous 13 years of this popular summer pastime. Last year was an all-Chicago finish, as Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo won in the NL with 8.8 million votes and White Sox left-hander Chris Sale won in the AL with 6.7 million.
Here is a closer look at this year's choices:
Johnny Cueto: How about your best outing of the year during Final Vote week? Cueto dominated the Nationals to improve to 6-5, his second straight strong start. Will he get another big hand at GABP? And will he make it 2-for-2 for Cincinnati, which won this vote with Joey Votto in 2010? To cast your mobile vote for Cueto, text N1 to 89269.
Jeurys Familia: He started the on-field campaigning by converting his 23rd save on Monday and lowering his ERA to 1.13. Familia has thrived in his first season as a closer, saving 23 games in 25 chances. To cast your mobile vote for Familia, text N2 to 89269.
Clayton Kershaw: The three-time Cy Young Award winner, whose next start comes Wednesday at home against Philadelphia, is on pace to surpass his personal season-high strikeout total of 248. Kershaw (5-6, 3.08 ERA) also was among league leaders in innings pitched (114, third), opponents' batting average (.216, eighth) and WHIP (1.04, eighth). He is trying to become the Dodgers' second Final Vote winner after Nomar Garciaparra won it in 2006. To cast your mobile vote for Kershaw, text N3 to 89269.
Carlos Martinez: Cardinals fans turned out big to win this for David Freese just three years ago, and now they'll be asked to do the same for the "Tsunami." Martinez will go after his 10th win on Thursday, which means you probably have all the voting evidence you need, including a 1.52 ERA in his last 10 outings and nine straight quality starts. To cast your mobile vote for Martinez, text N4 to 89269.
Troy Tulowitzki: The four-time All-Star extended his hitting streak to 19 games and his on-base streak to 34 with his RBI single on Tuesday. He started the season slowly, which explains why the top NL vote-getter of 2014 dropped in the starter balloting this time. Colorado just missed its first Final Vote winner last year, when Justin Morneau was passed by Rizzo down the stretch. To cast your mobile vote for Tulowitzki, text N5 to 89269.
Xander Bogaerts: He leads AL shortstops with 91 hits, and he has hit safely in 29 of his last 34, playing the hero in Tuesday's win at Fenway. Bogaerts became the first Red Sox player with a three-run single in the regular season since Gary Allenson against Detroit on Sept. 11, 1982. The Red Sox have won the Final Vote three times, tied with Philadelphia for second all time behind the White Sox (four). Previous winners were Hideki Okajima in 2007, Jason Varitek in '03 and Johnny Damon in '02. To cast your mobile vote for Bogaerts, text A1 to 89269.
Yoenis Cespedes: The defending two-time Home Run Derby champion, in his first year with Detroit, entered Tuesday with 94 hits, and only selected All-Stars rank above him on that list. Cespedes started this voting period by launching a tape-measure homer to start a big comeback to beat Seattle, then hit a game-tying shot in Tuesday's loss. Detroit is 1-for-6 in previous Final Votes, with third baseman Brandon Inge winning it in 2009. To cast your mobile vote for Cespedes, text A2 to 89269.
Brian Dozier: The bulldozer outside Target Field told the story on Tuesday. His walk-off homer on the night he appeared on the ballot marked Dozier's 17th long ball of the season, and 14 of those have come in the leadoff spot. Dozier entered Tuesday tied with Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson for the Major League lead in runs scored (63), and TBS analysts Cal Ripken Jr. and Pedro Martinez both said Tuesday he is their Final Vote choice. Dozier will try to become Minnesota's first successful Final Vote candidate in six tries. To cast your mobile vote for Dozier, text A3 to 89269.
Brett Gardner: The Yankees' center fielder walked, singled and scored a run in a losing cause against Oakland on Tuesday. He is right behind Dozier with 61 runs (tied for third in the Majors), but he has a higher average at .296 and has swiped 15 bases. Two Yankees outfielders have won the Final Vote: Nick Swisher in 2010 and Hideki Matsui in '04. Yankees fans will note that Swisher beat a Boston rival (Kevin Youkilis) that year, so there's another rivalry vote happening this time with Bogaerts. To cast your mobile vote for Gardner, text A4 to 89269.
Mike Moustakas: You don't have to go far back to find proof that "Moose" can find votes; he led in the fan balloting at AL third base for much of the campaign. Moustakas' slash line entering this week for the AL Central leaders was .301/.357/.436. He was on bereavement leave and missed Kansas City's game on Tuesday. To cast your mobile vote for Moustakas, text A5 to 89269.
Voting is open now at MLB.com to select the final player for each league's 34-man roster via the 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote. Fans can cast their votes from a list of five players from each league until 4 p.m. on Friday.
During the Midsummer Classic in Cincinnati on Tuesday, July 14, fans can once again visit MLB.com to submit their choice for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. Voting exclusively at MLB.com, online and via their mobile devices in the 2015 All-Star Game MVP Vote presented by Chevrolet, the fans' collective voice will represent 20 percent of the overall vote that determines the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
MLB.TV Premium subscribers will be able to live stream the All-Star Game via MLB.TV through FOX's participating video providers. Access will be available across more than 400 supported MLB.TV platforms, including the award-winning MLB.com At Bat app. MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities, including the 2015 Gillette Home Run Derby presented by Head & Shoulders, part of Gatorade All-Star Workout Day on Monday, July 13. The Derby will feature a new format with brackets and timed rounds and will be broadcast live by ESPN and MLB.com beginning at 8 p.m. ET.
The 86th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports (7 p.m. ET air time, 8:15 first pitch), in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 160 countries. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.