With the New York Yankees on pace to break the single-season record for wins and Aaron Judge on pace to threaten Roger Maris' team record of 61 home runs, it's no surprise that Judge is the top vote-getter among all players in the first round of All-Star balloting that concluded Thursday, ensuring him a starting spot in the All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium on July 19.
The top two finalists at each position now advance to the second phase of voting, with All-Star starters announced on ESPN on Friday, July 8, and full rosters announced on July 10.
Judge, who is hitting .290/.365/.636 and leads the majors with 29 home runs and 62 runs scored, earns his fourth career All-Star nod, also starting in 2017, 2018 and 2021.
Acuna missed the start of the season while recovering from last year's ACL surgery and is hitting .281/.372/455 with seven home runs in 43 games. Acuna is now a three-time All-Star, starting in 2019 and voted in as a starter last season before missing the game with the knee injury.
Six-time All-Star Bryce Harper was the leading vote-getter in the National League's first-ever balloting at designated hitter, but he's out for an extended period of time after surgery to repair a broken thumb. Harper has started five All-Star Games in his career, although he wasn't an All-Star last season, when he ended up winning NL MVP honors.
For the second phase, a couple of heavyweight battles loom at first base in the National League withPaul Goldschmidtversus Pete Alonso and at DH in the American League, with Yordan Alvarez versus two-way star Shohei Ohtani. Goldschmidt leads the majors with a .342 average and the NL with a 1.054 OPS, while Alonso leads the majors with 69 RBIs. Alvarez is hitting .316/.412/.658 and leads the majors with a 1.070 OPS, while Ohtani is hitting .265 with 17 home runs (and is 7-4 with a 2.68 ERA and 101 strikeouts in 74 innings on the mound).
Ozzie Albies of the Braves andJazz Chisholm Jr.of the Marlins are the finalists at second base in the NL, although both are currently on the injured list, Albies with a fractured foot and Chisholm with a back strain. Jeff McNeil of the Mets is third in the voting, and if any of the three end up starting, the National League will end up with its 12 different starters at second base in the past 12 All-Star Games. The last NL second baseman to start consecutive All-Star Games was Chase Utley, who started four in a row from 2006 to 2009.
Phase 2 voting stars at noon ET on July 5, with fans voting during a four-day window that concludes at 2 p.m. ET on July 8. The finalists, with vote totals from the first phase, which do not carry over:
1B --Paul Goldschmidt, Cardinals (2,477,992); Pete Alonso, Mets (1,521,254)
2B --Ozzie Albies, Braves (1,745,859); Jazz Chisholm Jr., Marlins (1,731,805)
DH -- Bryce Harper, Phillies (2,560,099); William Contreras, Braves (1,775,703)
DH -- Yordan Alvarez, Astros (2,215,456); Shohei Ohtani, Angels (1,664,012)