When it comes to MLB All-Star Game predictions, one of the murkiest crystal balls of them all involves first base in the National League.
With a large group of worthy candidates at first base in the National League, we make our MLB All-Star Game predictions on who gets in and who will get snubbed
A quick glance of who is available to man first base for the National League brings about an impressive list, including Paul Goldschmidt of the St. Louis Cardinals, Freddie Freeman of the Atlanta Braves, Pete Alonso of the New York Mets, C.J. Cron of the Colorado Rockies, Garrett Cooper of the Miami Marlins, and Matt Olson of the Atlanta Braves, among others.
That’s a star-studded cast, and sets up for what could be one of the most-discussed positions leading up to the MLB All-Star Game.
Going by FanGraphs fWAR heading into Thursday’s action, Goldschmidt leads the pack with 3.0 fWAR. Already this season, he’s put together a 25-game hitting streak and a 40-game on-base string, showing just how valuable he has been to the Cardinals offense.
Second and third on the list are Freeman (1.9) and Alonso (1.7), and it’s hard to see either of them not making it to the Midsummer Classic.
So that’s three spots already that could be taken at first base (with Goldschmidt very likely earning the start), leaving the others on the list above out in the cold. This, however, is where things get interesting.
Cron is easily having the best season of any Rockies position player, so knowing that each team gets at least one representative in the All-Star Game, will Cron knock out one of the top three? Our prediction is no, as Rockies reliever Tyler Kinley (0.75 ERA/1.77 FIP/1.125 WHIP) could easily be slotted into the NL bullpen to represent Colorado.
Olson, who came to Atlanta to fill Freeman’s shoes at first base, is likely on the outside looking in as well when it comes to the position. Freeman getting the nod in his first season with the Dodgers and with the game at Chavez Ravine makes perfect sense and sets up plenty of storylines when Olson doesn’t make the team.
As solid as Cooper has been this season, Jazz Chisholm Jr. will make the NL team at second base, giving the Marlins the representation they need.
In terms of statistics, Cron could well be the biggest snub of all at first base. Considering he has never made an All-Star Game in his career, that will be a storyline to watch as well. However, the competition is just too good at first base and his .192/.238/.372 slash line away from Coors Field will come back to haunt him.
Our predictions: Slot Goldschmidt, Freeman, and Alonso in at first base, while Cron, Cooper, Olson, and others will have to wait until next year.