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Local Sports

Can’t blame fans for all-star snubs

Every July, I spend way too much time analyzing the Major League Baseball all-star rosters. I really have a tough time with snubs and usually despise most of the fans selections.

This season, I don’t have a lot of issues with either team. I think the fans got it right, but maybe that has to do with the best and most deserving players are on the teams leading their divisions right now.

The American League outfield with Anaheim’s Mike Trout, Boston’s Mookie Betts and New York Yankee star Aaron Judge would frighten the heck out of me if I had to pitch against them. That’s a combined 72 home runs, Betts is hitting .346 and Trout is the best player in the game.

The entire AL lineup is stacked, and you are having a good week if your first name is Jose.

Houston’s Jose Altuve is back at second. He is hitting .335. Boston’s JD Martinez is hitting .331 with 28 homers. Cleveland’s Jose Ramirez also has 25 homers and Baltimore’s Manny Machado has 23 homers and is hitting .314.

Toronto pitcher JA Happ was picked an all-star but his last two outings has pushed his ERA to 4.40. Jose Berrios of the Twins, to me, is not an all-star. The Twins representative should be Eddie Rosario, but he still could make it as he’s part of the Final Vote. I would replace Berrios and Happ with Tampa Bay’s Blake Snell or Houston’s Charlie Morton. Snell is 12-4 with an ERA of 2.09 and Morton is 11-2 with an ERA of 2.83.

Seattle’s Jean Segura is not an all-star despite hitting .329.

I would trade out Kansas City’s Salvador Perez at catcher and replace him with Houston’s Evan Gattis. Perez is hitting .213 with 11 homers and 35 RBIs. Gattis has 18 homers, 62 RBIs and is batting .248.

The Royals’ representative should be Whit Merrifield, who is batting .306 with 16 steals.

In the NL, first and second base were the toughest positions to pick from. There are three second basemen who made the team. First base could have four if Milwaukee’s Jesus Aguilar or San Francisco’s Brandon Belt wins the Final Vote.

Aguilar did not make the all-star team yet despite hitting .302 with 23 homers and 64 RBIs. The starter at first is Freddie Freeman of Atlanta and Cincinnati’s Joey Votto and Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt also made the team. Freeman has 16 homers and 59 RBIs and is batting .312. Votto is batting .291 with a league-high .422 OBP and Goldschmidt has 20 homers.

Second base features Cubs star Javy Baez, Cincinnati’s Scooter Gennett and Atlanta rookie Ozzie Albies. Any of them could be the starter. All three deserve a spot on the team.

There really isn’t anything else I was frustrated with. I would probably have Colorado’s Trevor Story start over San Francisco’s Brandon Crawford but both guys should be on the team anyway.

I do think Bryce Harper is overrated. He’ll start in the outfield for the NL but is batting just .213. He does have 22 homers but he also has the third most strikeouts among NL outfielders.

Harper and Max Scherzer will play in front of their home fans. That’s why Scherzer likely gets the start on the mound.

I think the AL wins the game for a sixth straight season. They have deeper pitching with Corey Kluber, Chris Sale, Luis Severino, Justin Verlander, Trevor Bauer and Gerritt Cole. The lineup is more imposing, too.

Of course now, the NL will probably win 3-1. That’s how baseball works sometimes.

Contact Troy Hyde
at thyde@newtondailynews.com

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