Here are your All-Star picks for August

August 31st, 2022

The Major League Baseball regular season is six months long, which allows us to break the season into six convenient chunks. Each of these chunks counts equally, even if it doesn’t seem that way at the time. It always feels, in the moment, that the first and last months count more.

But throughout the season, we will be putting together an All-Star team for every month. As we wrap up this thrilling fifth month of baseball, here’s an All-Star pick from each league, at each position, for August. Here are the stars over the last month.

Each player is listed with his key stats for August, entering Tuesday.

NL: Travis d’Arnaud, Braves (.362/.434/.681)
AL: Sean Murphy, A’s (.933 OPS)

d’Arnaud was banged up earlier this month and has taken only 53 plate appearances, so you could also go with J.T. Realmuto (.925 OPS, 20 RBI) if you wanted. There have been only two A’s selections on these monthly All-Star squads all year -- and they’ve both been Murphy, the past two months.

First base
NL: Paul Goldschmidt, Cardinals (1.158 OPS, 27 RBI)
AL: Nathaniel Lowe, Rangers (1.103 OPS, 7 HR)

Goldschmidt was the NL MVP favorite heading into August, but he may have won himself the trophy this month. He was unrelenting from start to finish, so much that he now has a legitimate chance at the first Triple Crown in the NL since 1937. He led the Majors in nearly every major category this month as he pushed his team to one of its best months since -- well, since last September.

It's much easier to keep track of Lowe now that he’s out of Tampa Bay (which has two other Lowes), and he’s put together the best month of his career in August. Because the Rangers have been out of the race, you can be forgiven for not noticing.

Second base
NL: Jeff McNeil, Mets (.402 AVG)
AL: Andrés Giménez, Guardians (.904 OPS)

McNeil has been considered underrated so long that you almost think it’s his first name and “Jeff” is his middle. But when you’re putting together reasons why the Mets have been able to hold off the Braves so far, don’t forget the second baseman who has hit over .400 for the month.

The Guardians’ best hitter during the month that they took a semi-substantial lead in the AL Central? Giménez.

NL: Trea Turner, Dodgers (.373 OBP)
AL: Jorge Mateo, Orioles (.863 OPS)

It was a bit of a down month for shortstops, but ask any Orioles fans about the preponderance of clutch hits from Mateo this month. Meanwhile, every Dodger was great, as usual, so we had to make sure at least two were on here. You could have picked just about any of them, though.

Third base
NL: Nolan Arenado, Cardinals (1.153 OPS, 27 RBI)
AL: Alex Bregman, Astros (1.173 OPS, 7 HR)

Bregman has almost felt like a disappointment the last couple of years; he finished second in AL MVP voting in 2019 but hasn’t received a single vote since. But he looked like an MVP candidate again in August, putting up the third-highest monthly OPS of his career and best since ’19.

As for Arenado, well, he’s one of three Cardinals on this list, befitting a team that took control of the NL Central this month. Though this run may have only put him second in the NL MVP voting -- on his own team.

NL: Mookie Betts, Dodgers (1.065 OPS); Michael Harris II, Braves (1.004 OPS); Juan Soto, Padres (.449 OBP)
AL: Aaron Judge, Yankees (8 HR); Randy Arozarena, Rays (.993 OPS); Kyle Tucker, Astros (.342/.379/.585)

After a nine-game homer drought, Judge has gone deep four times in his past seven games to stay on pace to break Roger Maris’ AL record (and Yankees record) of 61.

The Padres have endured a difficult month, but imagine where they would be if they hadn’t traded for Soto. For the bullpen to blow all those leads, there had to be some hitters to get them those leads, after all.

Designated hitter
NL: Albert Pujols, Cardinals (1.374 OPS, 8 HR)
AL: Shohei Ohtani, Angels (1.021 OPS, 7 HR)

Pujols has become one of the biggest stories in baseball with his incredible run in the next-to-last month of his Hall of Fame-caliber career, so much that he has obscured last year’s incredible story. Some huge milestones are now in sight.

Ohtani, for most of this season, has been a better pitcher than hitter. This month, he has hit like 2021 Ohtani again. Because of course he has.

Starting pitchers
NL: Zac Gallen, D-backs (4-0, 0.82 ERA)
AL: Robbie Ray, Mariners (3-0, 1.64 ERA)

Ray is absolutely looking like the 2021 AL Cy Young Award winner again, and at the exact right time for the Mariners. For all the talk of the Cardinals trading away likely NL Cy Young winner Sandy Alcantara for Marcell Ozuna a few years ago, don’t forget that Gallen also went to the Marlins in that trade. The D-backs, who gave up Jazz Chisholm Jr. for him, now get to reap the benefits. (By the way, we might have picked Tony Gonsolin here were it not for his injury.)

Relief pitchers
NL: Nick Martinez, Padres (11 G, 15 IP, 0 ER)
AL: James Karinchak, Guardians (11 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 23 K’s)

The grand irony of the disaster that has been Josh Hader in San Diego so far is that there has been a Padres reliever who has been exactly what Hader was supposed to be, the entire time.