These are YOUR All-Star starting lineups. In the end, it's just that simple, and isn't that the coolest part of fans voting for the All-Star Game?That's especially true on the final day of balloting, with several positions still up for grabs and a long list of players needing a boost.
These are YOUR All-Star starting lineups. In the end, it's just that simple, and isn't that the coolest part of fans voting for the All-Star Game?
That's especially true on the final day of balloting, with several positions still up for grabs and a long list of players needing a boost. We'll get to some of those later.
You have until 11:59 p.m. ET tonight to cast your Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot as we close in on the MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard on July 11 at Marlins Park.
Here are 10 reasons you should vote today:
1. Your vote matters.
One of the best things about being a baseball fan is that you have your own opinions about how things should run. Everybody knows you could manage a bullpen better than your favorite team's skipper. You don't understand some of his lineups, either. This is your chance. If you think Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon should be starting for the National League, go vote.
2. Survey says …
All-Star voting is, in part, a popularity contest, and there's nothing wrong with that. At some point, players get to a point where their presence in the All-Star Game feels like the right thing regardless of the numbers. All-Star voting is also a giant survey, and it's interesting to look at the final tallies and compare the opinions of others to your own.
3. The All-Star Game as a spectacle.
The Show gets bigger and better every year. Players and their families are treated like royalty. To be part of an All-Star Game is one of the highest honors a player can receive, and that's why they want to be there. To be introduced as one of the best players in the game is a payoff for years of hard work, and it's an equally high honor for family, friends, coaches, etc.
4. Where are the Dodgers?
The Dodgers don't have a leader at any position even though the team has the best record in the NL and would have three of the top NL MVP vote-getters -- shortstop Corey Seager, third baseman Justin Turner and first baseman Cody Bellinger -- if the season ended today. Seager trails Cincinnati's Zack Cozart by fewer than 300,000 votes in the most recent tabulations, and Turner is a distant third behind Kristopher Bryant and Nolan Arenado. Bryant and Arenado are two of the best players on the planet regardless of position. But Turner is special, too, one of the best at his position defensively and hitting .385 when play began on Wednesday. As for the other star Dodger, Bellinger isn't on the ballot. But the rookie is leading the NL with 24 home runs and will certainly be part of the NL team.
5. Vote for Marlins OF Marcell Ozuna
This All-Star break is an opportunity for the Marlins to show off their beautiful ballpark and also one of America's most interesting cities. It feels right to have at least one local player in the starting lineup, and Ozuna, who is running third in NL outfield voting, more than deserves it. If there's a place for Giancarlo Stanton, the Marlins' biggest star, that would be even better.
6. Settle the NL first-base race.
Washington's Ryan Zimmerman has the slimmest of leads over Cubs star Anthony Rizzo. Meanwhile, Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt and Cincinnati's Joey Votto are also deserving of All-Star votes. Some years, they seem to put all the best players at the same position. Zimmerman, Rizzo, Goldschmidt and Votto are all in the NL's Top 20 in Wins Above Replacement.
7. After Aaron Judge, who is in the AL outfield?
Judge begins this final stretch with more votes than any other AL player and has a lead of nearly a million votes over Michael Trout in the outfield race. But Trout is unlikely to play, and the next four players are within 400,000 votes of one another. George Springer of the Astros appears to be nicely positioned for one of the starting jobs, but Michael Brantley, Avisail Garcia and Mookie Betts are tightly bunched.
8. Are we sure we're picking the right AL first baseman?
Kansas City's Eric Hosmer leads Toronto's Justin Smoak on this final day. Both are respected players. Both are having nice years. Problem is, a couple of players are having better years. One is Logan Morrison of the Rays, who leads all AL first basemen with 22 home runs and 54 RBIs entering Wednesday. Right behind him is Yonder Alonso of the Athletics, with a .963 OPS, tops among AL first basemen.
9. Wouldn't it be cool to get Jedd Gyorko on the NL All-Star Team?
Cardinals third baseman Gyorko has had an interesting ride. Four years ago, when he broke in with the Padres, it appeared he was on the fast track to success. Only that didn't happen. Now, at a time when a lot of people have forgotten him, he has jump-started his career with the Cardinals and is having a very solid season: .867 OPS, 12 home runs, 12 doubles. If the citizens of Cardinal Nation come through on this final day of voting, it would send a message that they understand how important he has been.
10. Youth is served (continued).
The 2015-16 All-Star Games had 54 first-time All-Stars. Among the 17 players leading going into this final day of balloting, five of them would be first-time All-Stars. This trend reflects a larger youth movement. The All-Star Game's leading vote-getters average 27.7 years per player. That's 26.7 in the AL, 28.8 in the NL. The AL has five leaders 25 years or younger in the lead, the NL two.
Fans may cast votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- on computers, tablets and smartphones -- exclusively online using the 2017 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot until tonight at 11:59 p.m. ET. On smartphones and tablets, fans can also access the ballot via the MLB.com At Bat and MLB.com Ballpark mobile apps. Vote up to five times in any 24-hour period for a maximum of 35 ballots cast.
The Esurance All-Star Selection Show will take place on Sunday at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN. Following the unveiling of the 2017 All-Star starters, reserves and pitchers, fans should return to MLB.com and cast their 2017 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote for the final player on each league's All-Star roster. Then on Tuesday, July 11, while watching the 2017 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 2017 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote.
The 88th Midsummer Classic, at Marlins Park in Miami, will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; 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, while MLB Network, MLB.com and SiriusXM will have comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information about MLB All-Star Week and to purchase tickets, please visit AllStarGame.com and follow @AllStarGame on social media.
Richard Justice has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2011. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @RichardJustice.