As of the time of this post, Friday, June 1 at 11 a.m. CT, Major League Baseball has opened All-Star balloting 2018 MLB All-Star Game, which will be held on Tuesday, July 17 at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. The 89th Midsummer Classic, hosted by the Nats for the first time since the franchise moved to Washington, will mark the fifth All-Star Game to be played in the nation’s capital and the first since 1969.
As for the Cubs, Albert Almora Jr. has been left off the ballot completely, and that’s a notable omission. AA is hitting .313/.366/.440 with 31 runs scored.
Almora’s batting average ranks seventh in the National League, and his defense could give MLB some highlight-reel catches in the ASG, if he gets there. AA should probably have been included; he’s got more plate appearances than Ben Zobrist or Ian Happ, for example.
There’s already been a hashtag created: #FreeAlmora, and a write-in campaign is ongoing. If that doesn’t work, Almora could be included in the Final Vote ballot for the last player on the N.L. roster.
Here are more details on the balloting.
For the fourth consecutive season, MLB’s All-Star balloting will be conducted exclusively online and via mobile devices at MLB.com, all 30 team websites and the MLB At Bat and MLB Ballpark mobile apps. Beginning right now, you can cast your votes for starters a total of 35 times per email address, including a maximum of five valid ballots cast in any 24-hour period.
During the voting period, the 2018 MLB All-Star Ballot will be available in English, Spanish and Japanese, and will offer audio CAPTCHA functionality for visually impaired fans. Banco BHD León will once again sponsor online All-Star balloting in the Dominican Republic, making Spanish-language ballots available to fans in the D.R. via LasMayores.com, the official Spanish-language web site of Major League Baseball.
The American League All-Star Team will have nine elected starters via the fan balloting program, while the National League All-Star Team will have eight fan-elected starters. The pitchers and reserves for both squads – totaling 23 for the N.L. and 22 for the A.L. – will be determined through a combination of “Player Ballot” choices and selections made by the Commissioner’s Office. The A.L. squad will be managed by A.J. Hinch of the defending World Series champion Houston Astros, while the N.L. team will be led by Dave Roberts of the defending N.L. champion Los Angeles Dodgers.
Following the announcement of the American League and National League All-Star rosters, voting will begin to select the final player for each league’s 32-man roster via the 2018 MLB All-Star Final Vote. Final Vote balloting will be from a list of five players from each league over the balloting period. Now in its 17th season with over 760 million votes cast, you will again will be able to make your Final Vote selections on MLB.com, the team sites and on mobile devices.
For Cubs other than Almora, you could possibly make a case for Kris Bryant and Javier Baez as All-Star starters, though Travis Shaw (Brewers) and Scooter Gennett (Reds) are having seasons also worthy of All-Star selection. Bryant and Baez could be chosen as reserves if they aren’t elected. Cubs pitchers who could be selected include Jon Lester and Brandon Morrow.
Have fun voting!