In? Shohei Ohtani.
Out? Yordan Alvarez.
At least in the American League starting lineup at designated hitter for the July 19 All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium.
Alvarez, the left-handed slugger for the Astros, leads the major leagues in OPS and slugging percentage, batting .312/.410/.665 with 26 home runs heading into Friday’s action, but Ohtani, the Angels’ two-way star, edged him out in the second round of fan voting to earn his second straight starting assignment in the All-Star Game. Last year, Ohtani made it as the AL’s starting pitcher.
After the first round of balloting, each position was narrowed to two finalists, with a new round of voting commencing. Ohtani collected 52% of the vote to 48% for Alvarez, who no doubt will be named a reserve when the rest of the team is announced on Sunday.
Ohtani is hitting .257 with 18 home runs, but his pitching numbers are even better: 8-4 with a 2.44 ERA and 111 strikeouts in 81 innings. In his past four starts, he has allowed no earned runs while striking out 40 batters in 26 2/3 innings. Despite another disappointing season from the Angels, Ohtani has a chance to win his second straight MVP Award, given his two-way performance.
His Angels teammate Mike Trout earns his 10th career selection. He’ll be joined in the AL outfield by Yankees Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton. Judge leads the majors with 30 home runs and 65 runs, while Stanton has hit 21 home runs. It’s the fourth All-Star selection for Judge and fifth for Stanton.
Stanton, who was born in Panorama City, California, about 20 miles north of Los Angeles, said it will be meaningful for him to play in an All-Star Game so close to where he grew up.
“I don’t think it’ll fully soak in until I’m there, even after,” Stanton said. “But definitely, it’s gonna be up there with the most memorable, if not the most.”
Stanton said he hasn’t decided whether he’ll participate in the Home Run Derby, but added that he “definitely” is considering it.
Jose Altuve of the Astros earned his eighth All-Star selection and fifth starting assignment at second baseman, while Rafael Devers beat Jose Ramirez at third base in a battle between two players having MVP-caliber seasons.
Blue Jays catcher Alejandro Kirk is the only first-time starter for the AL.
In the National League, the closest race was at third base, where the Padres’ Manny Machado edged out the Cardinals’ Nolan Arenado with 51% of the vote to 49%. Shortstop was also a close vote, with the Dodgers’ Trea Turner beating out the Braves’ Dansby Swanson 52% to 48%.
Bryce Harper was voted in as the starting DH, but he’ll have to be replaced due to injury.
Marlins second baseman Jazz Chisholm Jr. will be a first-time All-Star.
The starters for each league:
C: Alejandro Kirk, Blue Jays (1st selection): 74% to 26% over Jose Trevino
1B: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Blue Jays (2nd selection): 66% to 34% over Ty France
2B: Jose Altuve, Astros (8th selection): 57% to 43% over Santiago Espinal
SS: Tim Anderson, White Sox (2nd selection): 55% to 45% over Bo Bichette
3B: Rafael Devers, Red Sox (2nd selection): 60% to 40% over Jose Ramirez
OF: Aaron Judge, Yankees (4th selection): automatic selection as leading vote-getter
OF: Mike Trout, Angels (10th selection) and Giancarlo Stanton, Yankees (5th selection): over George Springer and Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
DH: Shohei Ohtani, Angels (2nd selection): 52% over 48% over Yordan Alvarez
C: Willson Contreras, Cubs (3rd selection): 65% to 35% over Travis d’Arnaud
1B: Paul Goldschmidt, Cardinals (8th selection): 67% to 33% over Pete Alonso
2B: Jazz Chisholm Jr., Marlins (1st selection): 59% to 41% over Ozzie Albies
SS: Trea Turner, Dodgers (2nd selection): 52% to 48% over Dansby Swanson
3B: Manny Machado, Padres (6th selection): 51% to 49% over Nolan Arenado
OF: Ronald Acuna Jr., Braves (3rd selection): automatic starter as leading vote-getter
OF: Mookie Betts, Dodgers (6th selection) and Joc Pederson, Giants (2nd selection): over Starling Marte and Adam Duvall
DH: Bryce Harper, Phillies (7th selection): 59% to 41% over William Contreras
ESPN’s Marly Rivera contributed to this report.