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2019 MLB All-Star balloting is officially open — but the rules have changed

Here’s everything you need to know to see your favorite Cubs in the Midsummer Classic

MLB: All Star Game
Willson Contreras hits a home run in his first at bat of the 2018 All Star Game
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

It’s that time of year again! All-Star voting is open and as in year’s past fans will get to choose who’s on the starting lineups for the American and National League teams. Quite a few Cubs are off to hot starts in 2019 so it’s imperative that Chicago Cubs fans make sure their voices are heard. However, the voting rules are substantially different this year, so here are the rules of the game if you want to see your favorite Cubs suit up for the Midsummer Classic.

As Jeff Passan reported in March, MLB and the MLBPA reached an agreement to change the way voting takes place. Basically, in order to increase voter enthusiasm the balloting system now contains a primary election and a starter’s election (similar to political elections). CBS Sports has a good breakdown of those two elections and the key dates below:

What is The Primary?

The Primary will be used to determine the top three vote-getters at every position but the outfield, where the top nine vote-getters will advance to The Starters Election. The Primary begins Tuesday, May 28 at 2 p.m. ET and wraps up on Friday, June 21 at 4 p.m. ET. The Primary will send a group of finalists to advance to The Starters Election. The Primary finalists will be revealed during MLB Network’s coverage of the Astros-Yankees game at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, June 21.

What is The Starters Election?

The Starters Election will be a 28-hour voting period to decide the All-Star starters at each position. The winner at each position (including three outfielders per League) will be named a starting position player for the 2019 Midsummer Classic. Voting for The Starters Election will begin at noon ET on Wednesday, June 26, and conclude at 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 27. The winners of The Starters Election will be revealed at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, June 27 on ESPN.

In other words, the primary will look a lot like what we’ve been used to with online fan voting. For the next three and a half weeks, fans vote early and often (the Chicago way!) and the results of that election creates a three-player ballot per position for a one-day general to determine the starters.

Additionally, MLB has added a new way to vote. You can still vote on any MLB platform, and you can still vote five times per 24 hour period, just like before. However, this year fans can also vote via Google Search by searching for “MLB Vote” or a player name. Here’s what it looks like when you search for a player:

Javy Báez All Star Ballot on Google

Notice, all I did was search the player name and it prompts me to vote for them. It also highlights the number of votes I have remaining on my account today and gives me the option of switching Google accounts. For those of you thinking of creative ways to stuff the ballot box, it will not give you the option to vote in incognito mode, you get prompted to sign in if you want to vote while browsing incognito.

By my count at least four Cubs position players have rock-solid cases for playing in the 2019 All Star Game. Willson Contreras is leading all catchers offensively by a mile with a .312/.416/.567 slash line and 12 home runs. Anthony Rizzo is leading all first basemen in fWAR and is currently slashing .291/.406/.604 with 15 home runs. Javier Báez has decided to repeat his magic act at short stop in 2019. He’s tied for second in fWAR at the position with a .310/.351/.586 slash line and 13 home runs. Finally, Kris Bryant is trying to give Nolan Arenado a run for his money at third. They are tied in fWAR heading into play today and KB is slashing .283/.405/.567 with 12 home runs.

We’ll be tracking all of the All-Star excitement here on BCB. For now, start voting and get these Cubs on the starters ballot.