The starters for this year's MLB All-Star game will be announced this Sunday on ESPN. We already looked at what the AL roster should look like. Now it's time to see who they should be up against on the NL squad.
Keep in mind that each team will have 34 players and each team has to be represented. The NL ballots for fan voting don't have a spot for the DH, but since every All-Star game now uses the DH, we're going to include it as a starting spot.
C: Jonathan Lucroy, Brewers – .331/.399/.511, 8 HR, 43 RBI, 4.3 WAR
Yadier Molina is leading the fan voting and Buster Posey will surely get his share of consideration, but Lucroy has far and away been the best catcher in the NL. Cincinnati's Devin Mesoraco leads the league at the position in slugging and OPS, but Lucroy has him beat in most other categories and has nearly twice as many at-bats. He's also second in the NL in batting average and third in WAR, which should put him squarely in the MVP conversation if he can help his Brewers win the NL Central.
1B: Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks – .305/.395/.536, 15 HR, 53 RBI, 3.5 WAR
Arizona's slugging first baseman leads the pack by a wide margin in WAR and OPS and he has the third most RBIs in the league. The NL has a deep pool of talent at first base, but young stars like Chicago's Anthony Rizzo may push their way into a spot ahead of more heralded players like Joey Votto and Adrian Gonzalez. Rizzo is third in the league in HRs with 17 – most among NL first basemen.
2B: Chase Utley, Phillies - .288/.347/.440, 6 HR, 38 RBI, 2.6 WAR
Utley is having a nice bounce back season to lead an under whelming crop of second basemen. Dee Gordon is one of only three NL second basemen to have a WAR of at least 2.0 and he also leads the majors in steals with 40, which should be enough to get him the other spot.
3B: Todd Frazier, Reds – .289/.356/.503, 17 HR, 47 RBI, 3.3 WAR
Frazier is one of the league's most improved players this season. He's always shown some modest power, but he's already closing in on matching his career high of 19 HRs and we're only halfway through the season. He leads all NL third basemen in the category, as well as in RBI, Slugging, OPS and WAR. He's also added 13 steals, putting him on pace for a potential 30-30 season. Washington's Anthony Rendon is another youngster having a breakout year. He's already pushed veteran Ryan Zimmerman to the outfield to steal his spot at the hot corner and he'll contend for a spot on the All-Star roster too. David Wright is having a bit of a down season, but the Mets need a representative from somewhere, so he could be a factor as long as he gets healthy by then.
SS: Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies – .351/.443/.613, 18 HR, 47 RBI, 5.2 WAR
Who else? Tulo has been tearing it up all season and the only thing holding him back from running away with the MVP award is that his Rockies have fallen out of the playoff race. Sure, his numbers are inflated by the thin air in Colorado, but the numbers he has put up at home are ridiculous even by Coors Field standards. Plus, he still has an .830 OPS on the road, which would still rank him as the top SS and inside the top 20 overall in the NL if you only counted his road stats. Starlin Castro is also have a great season and actually leads the position in RBI, while tying for second in homers.
OF: Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins – .313/.412/.585, 21 HR, 61 RBI, 5.1 WAR
Andrew McCutchen, Pirates – .313/.419/.519, 12 HR, 49 RBI, 3.6 WAR
Carlos Gomez, Brewers – .306/.372/.516, 13 HR, 45 RBI, 3.4 WAR
Stanton is another potential MVP candidate who's chances could be derailed as his team falls out of the playoff race. He's right behind Tulowitzki in WAR, while leading the league in HRs and RBIs. 2013 NL MVP Andrew McCutchen is having another strong season with the second best WAR among NL outfielders. Milwaukee's Carlos Gomez has seen his stolen base total drop after stealing 40 last year, but he's on pace to set new career highs in just about every other category and should still end up with a 20-20 season.
DH: Yasiel Puig, Dodgers – .314/.401/.518, 11 HR, 46 RBI, 2.8 WAR
Puig isn't really a DH of course, but as the next best offensive weapon on the NL roster, he gets the final starting spot. The fans will likely vote him in as a starting outfielder, which means Stanton may end up getting the DH spot, but Stanton's superior production warranted putting him in the top OF spot.
C: Devin Mesoraco, Reds – .314/.380/.645, 15 HR, 41 RBI, 3.0 WAR
C: Buster Posey, Giants - .288/.343/.439, 9 HR, 41 RBI, 1.9 WAR
1B: Anthony Rizzo, Cubs – .281/.392/.502, 17 HR, 44 RBI, 2.4 WAR
2B: Dee Gordon, Dodgers – .295/.350/.414, 2 HR, 25 RBI, 2.0 WAR
3B: Anthony Rendon, Nationals – .280 .338 .477, 12 HR, 48 RBI, 2.7 WAR
3B: David Wright, Mets – .277/.333/.396, 6 HR, 41 RBI, 1.4 WAR
SS: Starling Castro, Cubs – .288 .334 .470, 11 HR, 48 RBI, 1.5 WAR
SS: Jhonny Peralta, Cardinals - .239/.321/.433, 11 HR, 36 RBI, 3.4 WAR
OF: Jason Heyward, Braves - .245/.340/.372, 8 HR, 30 RBI, 3.5 WAR
OF: Hunter Pence, Giants - .295/.355/.467, 11 HR, 31 RBI, 2.9 WAR
OF: Ryan Braun, Brewers – .293/.342/.515, 11 HR, 49 RBI, 1.8 WAR
DH: Matt Adams, Cardinals – .271/.341/.493, 9 HR, 33 RBI, 2.0 WAR
SP: Adam Wainwright, Cardinals – 11-4, 1.89 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, 106 K
SP: Johnny Cueto, Reds – 8-6, 1.99 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, 130 K
SP: Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers – 9-2, 2.04 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 107 K
SP: Julio Teheran, Braves – 8-5, 2.29 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 108 K
SP: Josh Beckett, Dodgers – 10-4, 2.37 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 93 K
SP: Madison Bumgarner, Giants – 9-5, 2.90 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 114 K
RP: Craig Kimbrel, Braves – 26 SV, 2.10 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 59 K
RP: Huston Street, Padres – 22 SV, 0.90 ERA, 0.77 WHIP, 32 K
RP: Rafael Soriano, Nationals – 20 SV, 1.06 ERA, 0.85 WHIP, 32 K
RP: Francisco Rodriguez, Brewers – 27 SV, 2.34 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, 49 K
RP: Aroldis Chapman, Reds – 16 SV, 2.66 ERA, 0.85 WHIP, 46 K
RP: Pat Neshek, Cardinals – 0.82 ERA, 0.55 WHIP, 32 K
RP: Tony Watson, Pirates – 0.93 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 48 K