The races are starting to shape up in All-Star Game voting for the National League, and the team off to the hottest start is showing some upward mobility in the latest results.
Carlos Beltran of the Cardinals made the biggest move in results announced Sunday, taking over the third and final starting spot in the outfield vote. In the only change among voting leaders, Beltran passed the Brewers' Ryan Braun, with the Braves' Justin Upton and the Nationals' Bryce Harper holding down the top two spots.
Giants catcher Buster Posey remains the top vote-getter in the National League with 1,961,861 votes, but he figures to be in for a summer-long tussle with Yadier Molina of the Cardinals, who at 1,684,700 votes is No. 4 overall in the league.
In the rest of the second update of balloting, the Reds remain in charge on the right side of the infield, with Joey Votto leading at first and Brandon Phillips on top at second base. Pablo Sandoval retains the lead at third base to also give the Giants a pair of starters. The Rockies' Troy Tulowitzki retained his lead at shortstop.
Throughout the ballot lineup, a number of players created movement in the voting tallies, and there's a lot of voting left before it's all settled.
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- online or on a mobile device -- using the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot until Thursday, July 4, at 11:59 p.m. ET. The 2013 All-Star Game will be played at Citi Field on Tuesday, July 16.
Fans may submit 25 online ballots during the voting period, but can also earn a one-time bonus of 10 additional online ballots. To access these additional online ballots, you must be logged into your MLB.com account when you submit any online ballot. If you do not have an MLB.com account, visit MLB.com and register in accordance with the enrollment instructions for a free account.
What the Cardinals lack in category leaders other than Beltran, they make up for in depth. St. Louis is currently the only team with a player in the top five at every position, although the Giants are close with Hunter Pence at No. 6 in the outfield vote one spot away.
While Beltran is in position and Molina continues to dog Posey, other Cardinals made their way into the top five or improved their standing. Allen Craig made his first appearance at No. 4 at first base, where Votto (1,569,477) has a comfortable lead over Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt, who gained a spot over the Giants' Brandon Belt. At second, Matt Carpenter took over the No. 3 spot behind Phillips (1,541,720) and the Giants' Marco Scutaro. With Tulowitzki (1,691,262) leading at shortstop, Pete Kozma is at No. 4, and with Sandoval (1,674,157) and the Mets' David Wright (1,473,381) battling it out at third, David Freese is No. 3.
Beltran is in the middle of one of the tighter races, with Upton leading the way in his first season with the Braves at 1,666,026, followed by Harper (1,616,784) and Beltran (1,550,844), with Braun and the Reds' Shin-Soo Choo both over the 1 million mark.
It's still very early in the process. There remains a lot of time to vote, andmany ways to cast your ballot.
Fans this year can also once again participate in the Home Run Derby Fan Poll. Fans will have the opportunity to select three players in each league who they would most like to see participate in the Home Run Derby. The 2013 Home Run Derby -- part of Gatorade All-Star Workout Day -- will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio in the United States beginning at 8 p.m. ET on Monday, July 15.
The 2013 American League and National League All-Star teams will be unveiled on Sunday, July 7, on the 2013 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show, televised nationally on TBS. Baseball fans around the world will then be able to select the final player on each team via the All-Star Game Final Vote sponsored by freecreditscore.com on MLB.com.
And the voting doesn't end there. The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again 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 will vote exclusively online at MLB.com via the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote, and their voice will represent 20 percent of the vote that will determine the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of All-Star Week festivities.
The 84th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM also will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.
NATIONAL LEAGUE ALL-STAR BALLOTING
(as of June 9)
1. Buster Posey, Giants: 1,961,861
2. Yadier Molina, Cardinals: 1,684,700
3. John Buck, Mets: 692,170
4. Brian McCann, Braves: 467,522
5. Jonathan Lucroy, Brewers: 423,115
1. Joey Votto, Reds: 1,569,477
2. Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks: 928,647
3. Brandon Belt, Giants: 778,883
4. Allen Craig, Cardinals: 767,645
5. Freddie Freeman, Braves: 704,578
1. Brandon Phillips, Reds: 1,541,720
2. Marco Scutaro, Giants: 1,285,076
3. Matt Carpenter, Cardinals: 913,778
4. Chase Utley, Phillies: 774,314
1. Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies: 1,691,262
2. Brandon Crawford, Giants: 1,015,633
3. Jean Segura, Brewers: 835,329
4. Pete Kozma, Cardinals: 595,416
5. Andrelton Simmons, Braves: 592,286
1. Pablo Sandoval, Giants: 1,674,157
2. David Wright, Mets: 1,473,381
3. David Freese, Cardinals: 720,939
4. Chris Johnson, Braves: 635,138
5. Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals: 532,493
1. Justin Upton, Braves: 1,666,026
2. Bryce Harper, Nationals: 1,616,784
3. Carlos Beltran, Cardinals: 1,550,844
4. Ryan Braun, Brewers: 1,283,103
5. Shin-Soo Choo, Reds: 1,043,839
6. Hunter Pence, Giants: 984,734
7. Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies: 955,568
8. Andrew McCutchen, Pirates: 952,618
9. Angel Pagan, Giants: 871,143
10. Matt Holliday, Cardinals: 868,829
11. Gregor Blanco, Giants: 722,441
12. Carlos Gomez, Brewers: 704,106
13. B.J. Upton, Braves: 582,401
14. Jon Jay, Cardinals: 577,251
15. Jay Bruce, Reds: 556,894
John Schlegel is a national reporter for MLB.com.