Here are your AL and NL All-Stars for May
The MLB regular season is six months long, which allows us to break the season into six convenient chunks. Each of these chunks are equal to each other, 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 year, we will be putting together an All-Star team for each month of the season.
As we wrap up this thrilling second month of baseball, here’s an All-Star pick from each league, at each position, for May. Take a look at some stars over the last month.
All stats are entering Sunday’s games.
NL: William Contreras, Braves (1.022 OPS, 5 HR)
AL: Christian Vázquez, Red Sox (.868 OPS, .405 OBP)
Pick your Contreras in the NL: The best two hitting catchers in the National League in May, by far, were the Contreras brothers, William in Atlanta and Willson in Chicago.
Oh, and if you are a Red Sox fan and excited to see one of your players’ names pop up on this list of the best hitters in May, prepare to be excited rather regularly as you read the rest of this piece.
NL: Paul Goldschmidt, Cardinals (9 HR, 30 RBIs, 1.302 OPS)
AL: Josh Naylor, Guardians (.960 OPS, 4 HR, 18 RBIs)
Is it possible the Cardinals are going to have two straight NL Player of the Month winners? Nolan Arenado won the award last month, and no one was better than Goldschmidt in May, who was on an all-time hot streak. He’s off to the best start of his already illustrious career, and he’s well on his way to making his first All-Star Game since 2018, which would be his seventh overall and his first as a Cardinal.
NL: Ketel Marte, D-backs (.942 OPS, .418 OBP)
AL: Jose Altuve, Astros (1.066 OPS, 8 HR)
Altuve has found his ideal batting stroke, with eight homers for the month. If Mike Trout and Aaron Judge weren’t going nuts, he’d actually be a stealth MVP candidate, though lord help him if he were to beat Judge again. Trevor Story has been great too; he leads the Majors in RBIs this month with 32 after notching only five in April. We do keep forgetting he’s a second baseman now.
The NL is a lot tougher, and it’s tempting to go with Mets utilityman Luis Guillorme, who has a .480 OBP for the month. But he only played 18 games, so Marte gets the nod.
NL: Dansby Swanson, Braves (.902 OPS, .374 OBP)
AL: Tim Anderson, White Sox (.921 OPS, .431 OBP)
Anderson has been at the center of the baseball discourse this month, for all the wrong reasons (and through no fault of his own), but that discourse has distracted from just how terrific he has been, really from the start of the season. Remember he was a free swinger who never walked? He’s now the ideal leadoff man.
NL: Manny Machado, Padres (.977 OPS, .424 OBP)
AL: Rafael Devers, Red Sox (1.149 OPS, 7 HR)
Machado is currently the leader in the NL MVP chase, particularly with the Padres well-positioned in the playoff picture despite getting zero at-bats from Fernando Tatis Jr., the guy who was supposed to be the Padres’ MVP candidate. Meanwhile, Devers was an absolute monster in May, with a .430 OBP for a team that is now playing like one of the best offenses in baseball.
NL: Mookie Betts, Dodgers (1.182 OPS, 11 HR, 26 RBIs); Mike Yastrzemski, Giants (1.034 OPS, .451 OBP); Ronald Acuña Jr. (.934 OPS, 7 SB)
AL: Aaron Judge, Yankees (1.080 OPS, 11 HR, 23 RBIs); Mike Trout, Angels (1.063 OPS, 8 HRs); Kole Calhoun, Rangers (1.092 OPS, 7 HR)
Pity poor Taylor Ward, Julio Rodriguez and Manuel Margot, who all had breakthrough, jaw-dropping months and still can’t crack that American League outfield. The way Judge and Trout have played so far, there’s really only one open spot.
Also, Acuña is working his way back into shape and not playing every game, and he’s still been one of the best outfielders in the National League for the last month. Check out all those stolen bases!
AL: J.D. Martinez, Red Sox (1.139 OPS)
NL: Bryce Harper, Phillies (1.155 OPS, 7 HR)
The Phillies would obviously rather not have Harper as their DH -- they have several other perfectly qualified candidates! -- but as long as his arm injury lingers, they have no choice. And so far, it’s fair to say, Harper is the best DH in NL history, by a wide margin. Meanwhile, Martinez has been right there in the middle of a fantastic Red Sox offense during a month that has helped turn around their slow start.
NL: Sandy Alcantara, Marlins (2.13 ERA, 43 K’s)
AL: Martín Pérez, Rangers (3-0. 0.76 ERA)
Alcantara has quietly been an emerging ace for the Marlins, who have been stockpiling impressive young pitching for a few years now, but did anyone see this coming from Pérez after he had a 4.74 ERA last season?
NL: Ryan Helsley, Cardinals (10 IP, 0 ER, 15 K)
AL: Clay Holmes, Yankees (3-0, 14 IP, 0 ER)
Finding dominant relievers is not particularly difficult right now, but these two have been untouchable for the most innings, anyway. Holmes is floating above the mound at this point.