Ramirez, Gomez make move in All-Star Game voting

While Ryan Braun (left) will likely only make the All-Star Game if he's voted in by the fans, catcher Jonathan Lucroy and outfielder Carlos Gomez could be selected by players or the National League manager.

Steve Mitchell/Dennis Wierzbicki/Benny Sieu

Currently holding the best record in the National League, the Milwaukee Brewers should be well-represented at next month’s Major League Baseball All-Star Game at Target Field in Minneapolis.

With the fan voting set to close at 11:59 ET on July 3, four Brewers players have a chance to be voted by the fans to start the All-Star Game. The players, coaches and managers vote to select a backup at each position as well as five starting pitchers and three relievers.

The remaining nine National League reserves will be picked by St. Louis manager Mike Matheny, as he will skipper the NL squad after leading the Cardinals to the World Series in 2013. Here’s where the chances of a few Brewers stand with just two weeks until the All-Star selection show.

In a ballot update released Monday, Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez passed Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton for the third and final starting spot in the National League outfield. Gomez leads Stanton by 279,341 votes, trailing Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen by just 51,862 votes for the second spot and Yasiel Puig of the Dodgers by 58,516 votes for the top spot.

Lucroy for All-Star Game video

Whether he garners a starting spot or not, Gomez deserves to make his second consecutive All-Star Game. Gomez is tied with Puig for the highest batting average among NL outfielders at .317 and is third in extra-base hits with 34. Putting together a season which should put him in the MVP discussion, Gomez will make it to the All-Star Game in some way.

In addition to Gomez, the Brewers have Ryan Braun and Khris Davis in the top 15 in the fan voting among National League outfielders. After Monday’s update, Braun sits in fifth with 1,974,845 votes, while Davis is in 11th. It’s unlikely Braun will get selected by the players or Matheny, so he will probably need a late push in the fan voting to make his sixth All-Star Game.

Despite missing 22 games in May and early June due to a hamstring injury, third baseman Aramis Ramirez has moved into the lead to be the National League’s starting third baseman. With 1,279,902 votes, Ramirez leads New York’s David Wright by just over 19,000 votes.

Cincinnati’s Todd Frazier should be picked as one of the reserves and Washington’s Anthony Rendon has a solid case, as well. Ramirez’s numbers (.297, 10 HR, 38 RBI) puts him right up there with the best third basemen in the National League.

In addition to Gomez, another lock the Brewers have — or at least should have — is catcher Jonathan Lucroy. Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina has a strong lead in the fan vote and will likely start the All-Star Game for the fourth time in his career. Lucroy has moved into second in the fan voting, jumping ahead of San Francisco’s Buster Posey. He still sits nearly 700,000 votes behind Molina for the starting spot.

Lucroy is second in the National League with a .331 batting average, trailing just Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. His 35 extra-base hits are by far the most among National League catchers, as is his 3.9 WAR. Lucroy’s main competition for the two reserve spots are Posey and Atlanta’s Evan Gattis.

Milwaukee’s backstop has better overall numbers than Posey, while Gattis leads National League catchers with 16 home runs and raised his batting average to .294 on a 20-game hitting streak which ended Sunday.

Second base is another position usually without an overwhelming number of deserving candidates, but there are a decent amount of players who could go to Minneapolis this season. Milwaukee’s Scooter Gennett leads all second basemen with a .310 batting average, but he’s unlikely to get serious consideration in his first full season in the big leagues.

Philadelphia’s Chase Utley is running away with the fan vote and will undoubtedly hang on to start the All-Star Game, while Daniel Murphy of the Mets, Neil Walker of the Pirates and Dee Gordon of the Dodgers will all warrant consideration for reserve spots. Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks is fourth in the balloting, well behind Utley.

For a variety of reasons, predicting the All-Star pitchers is tough to do. First, the fact every team needs to be represented factors in at every position but often times impacts the pitching staffs. Next, pitchers who start the Sunday before the All-Star Game are ineligible to pitch, meaning the freshest options are sometimes picked over more deserving arms.

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Kyle Lohse has a chance to be selected to his first All-Star Game, as the veteran right-hander is fourth in the National League in innings pitched, tied for second in wins with nine and sports a 3.27 ERA. Wily Peralta and Yovani Gallardo also have outside shots of making it, as their next couple of starts could improve their candidacy.

Relievers are even more of a crapshoot than starting pitchers, but Francisco Rodriguez and Will Smith are deserving. Rodriguez leads all of baseball with 25 saves and has blown just two on the year to go along with a 2.35 ERA.

It may be difficult for Smith to make it, but the precedent of non-closers making the All-Star Game has been set over the last few years. Smith has been one of the best set-up men in baseball and has a 1.25 ERA in 40 appearances.

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