4 close All-Star races ahead of Starters Election

June 21st, 2019

Read our FAQ on this year’s revamped balloting format, which includes two phases of fan voting to determine the All-Star starters, and the ability to vote through Google Search.

The final push to get into the final round of voting on the 2019 Google MLB All-Star Ballot is upon us. Those who finish in the top three at their position (or top nine in the outfield) in the Primary Round, which ends at 4 p.m. ET today, will advance to the Starters Election, which begins next Wednesday at noon ET and ends the following day at 4 p.m. ET.

So vote now to help shape the field of finalists for the starting spots in next month’s All-Star Game presented by MasterCard in Cleveland.

The finalists for the Starters Election will be announced during early inning breaks of tonight's MLB Network Showcase game between the Astros and Yankees, which is scheduled to begin at 7:05 p.m. ET.

As of this writing, there are four closely contested races that deserve your attention. All voting totals are as of Friday morning.

1) American League shortstop

The Twins’ Jorge Polanco, the Astros’ Carlos Correa and the Yankees’ Gleyber Torres were in position to be finalists as of the previous voting update on Monday. But as of Friday morning, the third spot in the Starters Election appears to be down to Torres (912,245) and Indians dynamo Francisco Lindor (872,298).

Lindor, along with Jim Thome and Sandy Alomar Jr., is serving as an All-Star Ambassador with the event taking place in his home park of Progressive Field, but his candidacy to start the game was hurt when he missed almost a month at the start of the season with calf and ankle injuries. But Lindor has greatly improved his case in recent weeks, with a .298/.379/.556 slash line dating back to May 19.

2) American League outfield

As of Friday morning, the race for the ninth finalist spot in the AL outfield was as close as it gets between the Rangers’ Joey Gallo (856,275) and the Twins' Max Kepler (843,861).

Gallo has broken out this season with a host of tape-measure home runs while hitting a career-high .276. But the Texas slugger, who ranked eighth as of Monday, has slipped on the ballot while nursing an oblique injury after a stellar start.

Meanwhile, both Kepler and Twins teammate Byron Buxton have been instrumental in the team's surge to the top of the AL Central standings. Among qualified AL outfielders, Kepler ranks third in OPS (.930), and the pair is in a tie for fourth in Baseball Reference’s Wins Above Replacement calculation with 2.9. And Kepler’s performance against the Red Sox on Tuesday -- when he entered the game as a pinch-hitter and ended up with two game-tying hits and a walk-off hit -- should only help his candidacy as we go down to the wire.

3) National League shortstop

When Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager strained his hamstring this week, he might have also opened the door for the Rockies’ Trevor Story to swipe his spot among the finalists. Sure enough, as of Friday morning, Story -- despite suffering a jammed right thumb that landed him on the injured list on Thursday -- had passed Seager in the voting.

With 894,499 votes, Story now leads for the third finalist spot. Seager, however, remains firmly in the running with 824,527 votes.

Through Thursday's games, Story was the OPS leader among NL shortstops with a .907 mark, his 17 home runs are second to Javier Baez (18), and he's tied with Trea Turner for most stolen bases (12).

4) Top overall vote-getter

This is not really a thing, in terms of actual All-Star application (in other words, you don’t get any extra at-bats or swag bags), but it’s at least the kind of thing the winner can brag to his grandkids about.

It’s down to Cody Bellinger and Christian Yelich -- a sentence we might be repeating when analyzing the NL MVP case come September. On Friday morning, Bellinger was ahead with 3,480,350 votes to Yelich’s 3,448,695. If you think their vote totals are crazy high, look at their OPS marks: 1.193 for Yelich, 1.161 for Bellinger.

The 2019 season has been the Belli and Yeli show, and that carries into the All-Star voting.