MLB All-Star Game – Who Will Get In vs. Who Should Get In

America’s voting system is broken!

At least the only one that I care about: the All-Star voting system. Baseball fans have been ignoring their civic duties for far too long, allowing their All-Star team rosters to be filled out with popular players, rather than, I don’t know, good ones?

The voting has gotten particularly awful this season, thanks in large part to the state of Missouri. But with still almost a month of voting left, baseball fans can set about righting some terrible wrongs. We have compiled a list of what your All Star teams starting line up will look like if you don’t act quickly, as well as suggestions for what a deserving team should be.

American League: Fan Picks

  • 1B: Miguel Cabrera, DET
  • 2B: Jose Altuve, HOU
  • SS: Alcides Escobar, KC
  • 3B: Mike Moustakas, KC
  • C: Salvador Perez, KC
  • LF: Lorenzo Cain, KC
  • CF: Adam Jones, BAL
  • RF: Mike Trout, LAA
  • DH: Nelson Cruz, SEA

Damn you, Royals fans! We get it: you haven’t had good baseball in a long time, and last year was such a magical run, and you’re lovable underdogs, and blah, blah, blah! I don’t care how passionate you are; that doesn’t mean Salvador Perez and his sub-300 OBP is deserving of a trip to Cincinnati. (In this scenario, a trip to Cincy is a good thing, not a punishment like it normally is.)

The Royals shameless ballot stuffing is just one example of why the All-Star voting is a joke. But why can’t we ever use that power to vote in Will Ferrell, instead of just underwhelming players from a small-market team?

What would the AL lineup look like if the most deserving players were voted in. Here’s our take:

American League: Who fans should pick

  • 1B: Prince Fielder, TEX
  • 2B: Jose Altuve, HOU
  • SS: Xander Bogaerts, BOS
  • 3B: Josh Donaldson, TOR
  • C: Stephen Vogt, OAK
  • LF: Lorenzo Cain, KC
  • CF: Adam Jones, BAL
  • RF: Mike Trout, LAA
  • DH: Nelson Cruz, SEA

Voila, once you remove all those Royals, it actually looks like a team one might pay to watch!

First off, Miguel Cabrera is normally a safe pick at first, but a lot of that is based on name recognition. Fielder is having every bit as good a season as Cabrera down in Texas. While Fielder has played DH most of the year, he’s on the ballot as a first baseman, so voters should exploit that loophole. Plus he runs funny and he’ll actually take part in the Home Run Derby, so give him the nod.

Alcides Escobar will slide in because no one cares about shortstop, but if you actually took a second to look, it’s pretty clear Bogaerts is the best choice. Not only is he hitting better, but he’s been far better in the field, something that is kind of important for shortstops. His fielding percentage of .982 dusts Escobar, and if you have a sense of justice at all, you’ll click on his face 20 times a day.

At third, it’s not that Mike Moustakas isn’t deserving of a pick, it’s simply that Josh Donaldson is more deserving. Donaldson has been banging long balls all year for the Jays, with most of them coming at clutch times. They must not have internet up there in Canada because this guy should be leading the votes!

Stephen Vogt is better than Perez in every major statistical category; this one’s a no-brainer.

Finally, the Royals can keep Lorenzo Cain, because he hasn’t been terrible and I’m afraid of what Royals fans might do if they get shutout.

Your turn, National League …

National League: Fan picks

  • 1B: Adrian Gonzalez, SD
  • 2B: Dee Gordon, MIA
  • SS: Jhonny Peralta, STL
  • 3B: Matt Carpenter, STL
  • C: Yadier Molina, STL
  • LF: Matt Holliday, STL
  • CF: Giancarlo Stanton, MIA
  • RF: Bryce Harper, WAS

I don’t know what it is about the state of Missouri: are there so many tornadoes that everyone sits inside and votes for MLB All-Stars all day? (I suppose I could have mentioned race riots there, but I’m glad I took it in a different direction).

Anyways, Cardinals fans are always doing this – which somehow makes it slightly better – and their team usually has the talent to justify it. While this roster is still wrong, it’s less egregious than the AL. Congrats NL, perhaps your lack of a designated hitter has made you wiser?

Here’s how to correct the few mistakes you did make.

National League: Who fans should pick

  • 1B: Paul Goldschmidt, ARI
  • 2B: Dee Gordon, MIA
  • SS: Jhonny Peralta, STL 
  • 3B: Matt Carpenter, STL
  • C: Buster Posey, SF
  • LF: Justin Upton, SD
  • CF: Giancarlo Stanton, MIA
  • RF: Bryce Harper, WAS

Paul Goldschmidt is in a close battle with Adrian Gonzalez for first base and there’s still plenty of time for voters to come to their senses. Goldschmidt is leading all one-baggers in hits, RBIs, and dingers.

At catcher, as great as the Molina family has been to baseball, Cards fans really can’t justify stuffing the box for Yadier on this one. Molina and Buster Posey have the same average, but Posey has far more runs, RBIs, and HRs. (Molina hasn’t hit a single homer this year.)

Finally, Justin Upton has been a beast in the batter’s box (piling up 37 RBIs and 12 HRs) and on the base path (stealing 11 bases without getting caught once). Matt Holliday has hit for way less power, holding a slugging percentage .100 points worse than Upton’s.

(Photo Credit: Arturo Pardavila III on Flickr (Original version) UCinternational (Crop) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)

Boris

Hockey may be a wildly unpopular sport in the U.S., but where no one is paying attention, there’s a ton of value for Boris to mine. An avid NHL fan of over 20 years, Malloy made his first bet against a friend during the 2001 Stanley Cup Finals (going against Ray Bourque) and has been hooked ever since. He has yet to pay off that debt of $2, but he’s made plenty back since. In between worrying about the league’s next lockout, he regularly contributes to MTS and is also fluent in football, basketball, baseball and French (sort of).