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Several nearly even races highlight first American League balloting update for 2017 All-Star Game

American League leading vote-getter Trout followed by Judge, Lindor

The first American League balloting update for the 2017 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard was announced earlier today on MLB Network, highlighted by tight races at second base, third base and outfield. The 2017 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot, which is available exclusively online via MLB.com, Club sites and mobile devices, will be accessible until the voting period ends on Thursday, June 29th at 11:59 p.m. (ET).

In the AL's closest contest, New York Yankees second baseman Starlin Castro (516,268) leads Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros (515,732) by a mere 536 votes. Castro, a three-time NL All-Star at shortstop (2011-12, 2014), is bidding for his first career fan-elected start, while Altuve, a four-time All-Star (2012, 2014-16), is attempting to claim his third consecutive starting assignment.

The first American League balloting update for the 2017 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard was announced earlier today on MLB Network, highlighted by tight races at second base, third base and outfield. The 2017 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot, which is available exclusively online via MLB.com, Club sites and mobile devices, will be accessible until the voting period ends on Thursday, June 29th at 11:59 p.m. (ET).

In the AL's closest contest, New York Yankees second baseman Starlin Castro (516,268) leads Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros (515,732) by a mere 536 votes. Castro, a three-time NL All-Star at shortstop (2011-12, 2014), is bidding for his first career fan-elected start, while Altuve, a four-time All-Star (2012, 2014-16), is attempting to claim his third consecutive starting assignment.

A trio of outfielders are chasing Mookie Betts of the Boston Red Sox (337,473) for third place and a starting nod among AL outfielders. Michael Brantley of the Cleveland Indians (333,703), an All-Star in 2014, is less than 4,000 votes away, while Betts' Red Sox teammate Andrew Benintendi (327,047) and Avisaíl García of the Chicago White Sox (303,603) follow closely behind, each seeking their first career All-Star selection. Betts, aiming for his second consecutive fan-elected start, trails overall AL leader and five-time All-Star Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels (776,937), as well as rookie phenom Aaron Judge of the Yankees (730,438), who leads the Majors with 17 home runs as he challenges Trout for the top spot in the AL.

At third base, three-time All-Star Manny Machado of the Baltimore Orioles (369,069) is trying to hold off a pair of players striving for their first All-Star selection - Miguel Sanó of the Minnesota Twins (363,607) and Cleveland's José Ramírez (351,814). Machado, the fan-elected starter in 2016, would join Hall of Famers Brooks Robinson and Cal Ripken Jr. as the only Orioles third basemen to earn multiple fan-elected starts.

The remaining AL leaders include: first baseman Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers (326,952); shortstop Francisco Lindor of the Indians (602,238); catcher Salvador Perez of the Kansas City Royals (420,268); and designated hitter Nelson Cruz of the Seattle Mariners (457,050). Cabrera is followed closely by Yonder Alonso of the Oakland Athletics (287,975) and Carlos Santana of the Indians (270,816). Lindor, who has the third-highest total in the AL, is followed at shortstop by Carlos Correa of the Astros (253,518). Baltimore's Welington Castillo (339,902) follows Perez behind the plate, while Cleveland's Edwin Encarnacion (282,837) and Matt Holliday of the Yankees (276,855) trail Cruz at designated hitter.

The Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot, the largest program of its kind in professional sports, is being conducted exclusively online for the third consecutive season. Fans around the world can cast their votes for starters a total of 35 times with the 2017 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot, including a maximum of five valid ballots cast in any 24-hour period. The 2017 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot is available in English and Spanish, and offers audio CAPTCHA functionality for visually impaired fans. Banco BHD León once again sponsors online All-Star balloting in the Dominican Republic, making Spanish-language ballots available to fans in the Dominican Republic via LasMayores.com, the official Spanish-language Web site of Major League Baseball.

Esurance is introducing actor Josh Duhamel as the first-ever Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot Ambassador. The Transformers: The Last Knight and Spaceman movie star will get ready for the 88th Midsummer Classic along with fans throughout the voting period - submitting ballots, sharing posts on social, and helping fans everywhere get an inside look at MLB All-Star Week while on the ground at FanFest in Miami, Florida. This afternoon at 2:35 p.m. (ET), Duhamel will unveil his votes for the All-Star Game Ballot on Facebook Live.

Details regarding the unveiling of the 2017 American League and National League All-Star Teams will be available in the coming weeks. The AL All-Star Team will have nine elected starters via the fan balloting program, while the NL All-Star Team will have eight fan-elected starters. The pitchers and reserves for both squads - totaling 23 for the NL and 22 for the AL - will be determined through a combination of "Player Ballot" choices and selections made by the Commissioner's Office.

Following the announcement of the American League and National League All-Star rosters, fans will begin voting to select the final player for each League's 32-man roster via the 2017 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote. Fans will cast their votes from a list of five players from each League over the balloting period. Now in its 16th season with over 680 million votes cast, fans again will be able to make their Final Vote selections on MLB.com, Club sites and their mobile devices.

This year's final phase of All-Star Game voting again will have fans participating in the official voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans can vote exclusively at MLB.com and the 30 Club sites - online or via their mobile devices - with the 2017 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote, and their collective voice will represent 20 percent of the official vote determining this year's recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.

MLB All-Star Week includes the MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard at Marlins Park (July 11th), Gatorade All-Star Workout Day featuring the T-Mobile Home Run Derby (July 10th), All-Star Sunday featuring the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game and All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game (July 9th), All-Star FanFest at the Miami Beach Convention Center (July 7th-11th), plus a lineup of additional events taking place around the city. The 88th Midsummer Classic 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 Sirius XM also will provide 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.