It’s almost the halfway point of the 2019 MLB season. This means teams get a break from the grind of the 162-game season with the All-Star Game on July 9. Whether you agree with the rule or not, every MLB team must have at least one player in the All-Star Game. This means even last-place teams like the Miami Marlins will represent in the Cleveland event.
Good teams, especially division leaders, often see multiple players get chosen for the game. But not all division leaders have several All-Stars. And some successful teams, like the three franchises below, don’t deserve to have more than one mandated All-Star player.
With one of the best records in the National League, the Brewers are just behind the Cubs for the NL Central lead. But Milwaukee is not full of star players. Even reliever Jeremy Jeffress, who had a 1.29 ERA last season, is struggling with a 3.46 ERA (half-a-run worse than his career average).
Christian Yelich, however, is not struggling. The reigning NL MVP is following up an award-winning season by making another run at MVP. Through 67 games, Yelich is hitting .345 with 27 home runs and a 1.184 OPS. Since being traded to Milwaukee prior to last season, he’s become the offensive star of this team.
The Phillies made the biggest splash of the offseason by signing Bryce Harper to a long-term deal. At the time of the signing, if someone told you the Phillies would only have one All-Star this season, most people would assume it would be Harper. But the former MVP’s .243 average and 12 home runs aren’t worthy of the NL All-Star roster.
So, which Phillies player is worthy of All-Star attention? Rhys Hoskins is hitting .268 with 15 home runs. It doesn’t scream “All-Star stats,” but every team needs a player in the Midsummer Classic. Hoskins is the Phillies’ best option.
St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals are also chasing the Cubs in the Central. They’re in third place but just a few games behind the division lead. St. Louis doesn’t have have a player who stands out. None of their starting pitchers have an ERA under 3.55 and their best hitter is batting just .275. Overall, Marcell Ozuna is the best fit. He’s only hitting .254 but he has a team-leading 18 homers. Plus, fans like seeing players hit long balls, so let’s go with him over Paul DeJong, who’s hitting .275 with 13 home runs.
You’ll notice there are no American League teams on this list. But the AL is more top-loaded than the NL this season. There also aren’t tight races in the American League, other than the AL East, but even the East isn’t nearly as close as the NL Central.