The first round of fan balloting for the All-Star Game is nearly complete. After Thursday, the top vote getters at each position will move onto a second round of voting to determine the starters for each league, an area where the New York Mets don’t have a leader just yet. The good news is that the Mets have a really good shot at sending a significant contingent to Los Angeles next month to represent them in the Midsummer Classic. Let’s take a look at the Mets most likely headed to Dodger Stadium, starting with the top candidates and working our way down to the least likely.
1B Pete Alonso
Alonso may not start at first base with Paul Goldschmidt posting a ridiculous year for the St. Louis Cardinals but the Mets’ star will surely be heading to Los Angeles. The current major-league leader with 69 RBIs, Alonso is also tied for the National League lead with 22 home runs and has been an MVP candidate for the Mets. The only real question here is whether Alonso will opt to try and defend his Home Run Derby crown for a third straight year.
RP Edwin Diaz
Fans don’t vote for pitchers but Diaz has been sensational all year long. Diaz has already racked up 16 saves for the Mets, pitching to a 2.12 ERA and striking out a ridiculous 57 batters in just 29.2 innings pitched. The top tier of NL closers has been weak outside of Milwaukee’s Josh Hader so Diaz should make his first All-Star team as a Met.
2B Jeff McNeil
The injury to Ozzie Albies has opened up a potential spot at second base for McNeil, who only has to make up a little ground to advance to the second round of fan balloting with Miami’s Jazz Chisholm. McNeil has changed his approach back to the contact-heavy one that helped him earn an All-Star appearance in 2019 and has become a valuable hitter, batting .327 to pace the Mets in that department. Strong defensive performance at both second base and left field should also make McNeil an attractive choice as a manager’s pick by Atlanta’s Brian Snitker.
SS Francisco Lindor
Lindor may not have the high batting average of either Trea Turner or Dansby Swanson but he has been extremely productive. The Mets have seen Lindor generate 56 RBIs, which is the third-most in the National League behind Alonso and Goldschmidt, while his excellent defense has helped New York save plenty of runs. Lindor is unlikely to reach the second round of fan balloting but could be a popular manager’s selection for Snitker or receive support from the player’s ballot.
SP Max Scherzer
Scherzer was on an All-Star pace before getting injured and he could be back in the rotation as soon as this weekend. A few strong starts could help Scherzer earn points on the player’s ballot or make him a solid choice by Snitker to round out the National League’s pitching staff.
OF Starling Marte
Marte’s first season in New York has been a strong one and he is currently in fourth place in fan balloting, which should earn him a trip to the second round. The main competition for Marte appears to be San Francisco’s Joc Pederson, who has built a sizable lead over him in the fan vote, but Marte’s strong reputation around the league could help him earn a reserve spot from the player’s ballot.
OF Brandon Nimmo
Nimmo has cooled off a bit, which has hurt his candidacy, and he won’t reach the top six of the fan ballot to earn a shot at a start. The best chance for Nimmo to make his first All-Star team will come with a hot streak and Snitker having an eye towards outfield defense with one of his managerial selections.
IF Luis Guillorme
Manager Buck Showalter has stumped for Guillorme, who has been a valuable player for the Mets as a utility hitter with a strong glove and contact approach at the plate. Utility players have been picked before but this seems like a stretch without any sort of home-field advantage on the line.
The Mets should feel very confident that Alonso, Diaz and McNeil will be going to the All-Star Game while Lindor also has a good shot. Marte and Scherzer would be the most likely players to earn the Mets’ fifth ticket but anything beyond that would be remarkable.