As the MLB calendar rolls into the start of the summer, All-Star predictions will dominate the national baseball conversation.
After 42 years, the All-Star game will return to Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, and fans can expect a star-studded event under the sunny California sky.
The MLB season is two months young, but the Mid-Summer Classic will be here before you know it.
The National League All-Star team will see a mix of new and old faces, showcasing the game’s future, and honoring its present-day superstars.
Pete Alonso is in great form, leading the New York Mets to the best record in the NL through mid-June. After a pedestrian start out of the gate, Dodgers center fielder Mookie Betts is reminding fans that he is a perennial MVP candidate, and one of the league’s most special players. And Jazz Chisholm, the sparkling second-baseman for the Miami Marlins, has bursted onto the scene with his dynamic play.
Let’s take a look at the most deserving players for the NL All-Star team.
- Trea Turner, LAD SS
- Mookie Betts, LAD CF
- Juan Soto, WAS RF
- Paul Goldschmidt, STL 1B
- Bryce Harper, PHI DH
- Manny Machado, SD 3B
- Mike Yastrzemski, SFG LF
- Willson Contreras, CHC C
- Jazz Chisholm, MIA 2B
Starting Pitcher: Sandy Alcantara, MIA
Reserves: SS Francisco Lindor, OF Ronald Acuña Jr., OF Jeff McNeil, 1B Pete Alonso, DH C.J. Cron, 3B Nolan Arenado, OF Juan Soto, C Daulton Varsho, 2B Tommy Edman, SS Dansby Swanson, 1B Freddie Freeman
Familiar Faces at the Top
Dodger sensations Turner and Betts will man the top of the NL lineup. Turner is one of the game’s smoothest players. He had a 24-game hit streak this season, is top-5 in stolen bases (13), and the highest wRC+ (130) among NL shortstops. His blistering speed and increasing ability to hit for power make him a venerable threat anytime he steps up to the plate.
Goldschmidt is having the best season of his career. Although his consistent power production with the Diamondbacks should not be ignored, the Cardinals first baseman is putting up MVP-type numbers in his age-25 season. Fans will likely push for the two-time Home Run Derby Alonso to receive the starting first-base gig, but Goldschmidt deserves that spot. He tops the NL in OBP (.411) and has the highest WAR (2.8) among NL first-basemen.
A UCL tear has not pumped the brakes on Harper’s dominant campaign. For all of the Philly slugger’s tremendous talents and multiple MVP recognitions, it still feels as though he does not receive the national recognition he deserves. Harper lives to play the game, displaying a fiery intensity that is unmatched in the league.
Yaz and Jazz
“Yaz,” the grandson of one of the game’s most feared hitters, Carl Yastremski, should get the first All-Star nod of his career. While his standard numbers do not jump off the page, he is a hard-worker at the plate, makes clean contact, and gets on base. He sports the second highest wRC+ (141) among NL outfielders and should fit nicely into the NL starting lineup.
If you’re in Chisholm’s way, you better get out of it. The Miami second-baseman has created some noise within the team’s clubhouse, but his play on the field has been louder. Chisholm is an enchanting player, exhibiting a youthful exuberance. It will be fun to see Jazz under the bright lights at Dodger Stadium.
Starter: Sandy Alcantara, MIA RH
The NL has seen its fair share of great pitching performances this season. Although a viable case can be made for Corbin Burnes, Zack Wheeler, or Joe Musgrove to start, Alcantara, the Marlins ace, just simply dominates. Boasting a 1.61 ERA and the most innings pitched in the NL (83), Alcantara has imposing stuff. The Marlins ace will showcase his talents for the world to see on July 19.
Zack Wheeler, PHI RH
Wheeler got off to a shaky start, but he has come back down to Earth, recapturing his 2021 form. He has given up six runs since May 12, knocking his ERA down below 3.00.
Corbin Burnes, MIL RH
Burnes likes to strike hitters out. He has the second-most punch-outs in baseball (92) and is the current favorite (+500) to win the NL Cy Young.
Joe Musgrove, SD RH
Musgrove has not earned a loss this season. He has the lowest ERA (1.50) in the Majors and a six-pitch repertoire.
Pablo Lopez, MIA LH
Lopez’s changeup is nasty. He has a 41% whiff rate on it and it has only given up 16 hits. Alcantar and Lopez represent a feisty platoon at the top of the Marlins pitching staff.
Other Pitchers/Relievers: LH Max Fried, RH Josh Hader, RH Kyle Wright, RH David Bednar, LH Carlos Rodon
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