We’re in the final days of Major League Baseball’s All-Star voting, and judging from the final voting update before rosters are released, there are still a handful of races that can be flipped.
The biggest note in the latest round of voting data: Marcell Ozuna of the host Miami Marlins has taken over the third and final National League outfield spot from Jason Heyward of the Chicago Cubs. A number of races — like American League and National League first basemen and NL third baseman — remain pretty close, so we’ll get to those in a minute.
First, a reminder: Fans can cast their votes on MLB.com until 11:59 p.m. ET on Thursday. You’re allowed up to five votes per day for a total of 35 votes. The All-Star rosters will be announced Sunday at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Here’s a look at the new ballot tallies followed by five of the races to watch in the final days:
1. NL OUTFIELDER: MARCELL OZUNA VS. THE CUBS
We’ll start with Ozuna, who has been worthy of a starting spot regardless of the locale, but in Miami, he’s especially a great fit. The Cubs had been holding down that final spot for the entire run of balloting, but Ozuna crept ahead in the final days. Heyward and Zobrist are clearly within striking range, though, so this one isn’t finished by any means.
2. NL THIRD BASE: KRIS BRYANT VS. NOLAN ARENADO
Both Bryant and Arenado are worthy All-Stars and among the game’s best young players. They’re also evenly matched according to Wins Above Replacement, so there’s really no wrong answer between the two. (Although Anthony Rendon has them both beat on a WAR-level). Still, it’s Bryant and Arenado atop the leaderboard with Bryant owning a lead of about 58,000 votes.
3. AL FIRST BASE: ERIC HOSMER VS. JUSTIN SMOAK
Raise your hand if you thought Justin Smoak had a chance to become an All-Star starter at the start of the season. The Toronto Blue Jays slugger is one of the many surprises in the AL first-base ranks this season (Logan Morrison and Yonder Alonso deserve some love too). And now Smoak finds himself within about 70,000 votes of Royals star Eric Hosmer. Smoak has Hosmer beat by WAR, but Royals fans are traditionally pretty good at mobilizing the All-Star vote.
4. NL FIRST BASE: RYAN ZIMMERMAN VS. ANTHONY RIZZO
This might be the deepest position in MLB this year, as Zimmerman, Rizzo, Paul Goldschmidt and Joey Votto all reasonably deserve to be named the starter. Still, it’s Zimmerman and Rizzo atop the leaderboard in the final days. Zimmerman has a lead of about 127,000 votes and the Nats fans have been good at supporting their players, so he seems to have the upperhand here.
5. AL DH: NELSON CRUZ VS. COREY DICKERSON
Nelson Cruz’s rep helps him here. He’s held down the top spot in the vote all season, but Corey Dickerson of the Tampa Bay Rays is making a late charge. And you know what? He’s probably a better choice than Cruz. Dickerson creams Cruz by WAR (2.9 to 1.4) and ranks higher in batting average, homers, runs scored and slugging percentage. The stat most in Cruz’s favor is RBIs, where he leads 58 to 39.
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