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Two Braves, two Cubs elected to start on the National League All-Star roster

Atlanta Braves v Miami Marlins Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

The Atlanta Braves have accelerated their rebuild, tied atop the National League East. They will be well represented at the 2018 MLB All-Star Game, with four players, including a pair voted into the starting lineup by fan balloting.

The All-Star Game will be held on Tuesday, July 17 at Nationals Park in Washington D.C.

First baseman Freddie Freeman and outfielder Nick Markakis are the two Atlanta starters. It’s the third All-Star nod for Freeman, who is hitting .313/.405/.538 with 16 home runs this season. He received the most fan votes among National League players at over 4,039,219.

NL All-Star starters

Pos Player Team ASG
Pos Player Team ASG
C Willson Contreras Cubs 1st
1B Freddie Freeman Braves 3rd
2B Javier Baez Cubs 1st
3B Nolan Arenado Rockies 4th
SS Brandon Crawford Giants 2nd
OF Nick Markakis Braves 1st
OF Matt Kemp Dodgers 3rd
OF Bryce Harper Nationals 6th

This is the first All-Star selection for the 34-year-old Markakis, in his 13th major league season.

Willson Contreras beat out Buster Posey for his first All-Star selection, starting at catcher, and will be joined by his Chicago Cubs teammate Javier Baez, starting at second base.

San Francisco Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford, hitting .301/.366/.480 with stellar defense, starts as well.

Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado makes his fourth All-Star appearance. Arenado is the NL leader in home runs (22) and is second in RBI (63), and the five-time Gold Glover will make his second career All-Star start.

Matt Kemp was re-acquired in December by the Los Angeles Dodgers in more of an accounting move, maneuvering salary around to get under the competitive balance tax threshold. But after three sub-par campaigns since leaving his original team, Kemp has been resurgent this season, hitting .317/.355/.550 with 15 home runs and 18 doubles. It’s Kemp’s third All-Star appearance, but his first since 2012.

“The thing about Matt is, he was just taking it day by day. He was given an opportunity and he took advantage. He came in to compete and show he would earn opportunities to get at-bats,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, who will manage the NL All-Stars. “He’s taken it, and become an All-Star in 2018.”

Bryce Harper has slumped for roughly two months but is still second in the National League in home runs (21), hitting .218/.374/.472. He received the third-most votes from fans among NL outfielders, giving the host Washington Nationals an All-Star starter, Harper’s sixth nod in the midsummer classic.

Max Scherzer is another National on the team, the top vote-getter among pitchers on the players’ ballot. Scherzer, the NL Cy Young Award winner the last two seasons, is tops in the majors in strikeouts (177) and fourth in the NL in ERA (2.33), and seems in line to start on the mound in front of his home crowd.

Full NL All-Star roster

Pos Player Team How selected
Pos Player Team How selected
C Willson Contreras Cubs Fan Vote
1B Freddie Freeman Braves Fan Vote
2B Javier Baez Cubs Fan Vote
3B Nolan Arenado Rockies Fan Vote
SS Brandon Crawford Giants Fan Vote
OF Nick Markakis Braves Fan Vote
OF Matt Kemp Dodgers Fan Vote
OF Bryce Harper Nationals Fan Vote
C Buster Posey Giants Player Vote
1B Joey Votto Reds Player Vote
2B Ozzie Albies Braves Player Vote
3B Eugenio Suarez Reds Player Vote
SS Trevor Story Rockies Player Vote
OF Lorenzo Cain Brewers Player Vote
OF Christian Yelich Brewers Player Vote
OF Charlie Blackmon Rockies Player Vote
1B Paul Goldschmidt Diamondbacks Commissioner
2B Scooter Gennett Reds Commissioner
C J.T. Realmuto Marlins Commissioner
SP Max Scherzer Nationals Player Vote
SP Jacob deGrom Mets Player Vote
SP Jon Lester Cubs Player Vote
SP Aaron Nola Phillies Player Vote
SP Mike Foltynewicz Braves Player Vote
RP Josh Hader Brewers Player Vote
RP Sean Doolittle Nationals Player Vote
RP Brad Hand Padres Player Vote
SP Patrick Corbin Diamondbacks Commissioner
SP Miles Mikolas Cardinals Commissioner
RP Felipe Vazquez Pirates Commissioner
RP Kenley Jansen Dodgers Commissioner