At 35-15, the Chicago Cubs have the best record in baseball and a serious shot at making the World Series for the first time since 1945.
If the Cubs want to break their curse and make it to the Series, their starting infield could have a say in whether Chicago has home-field advantage.
Major League Baseball released the early returns for National League All-Star voting on Wednesday, and the Cubs lead all four infield positions, including first base, where Anthony Rizzo is the NL’s leading vote-getter.
Cubs 1B Anthony Rizzo paces the NL in fan balloting for the 2016 MLB All-Star Game presented by MasterCard. pic.twitter.com/hIgb4KMwAn
— MLB Communications (@MLB_PR) June 1, 2016
In the latest vote count, Rizzo, Ben Zobrist and Kris Bryant lead their respective positions comfortably. Shortstop Addison Russell leads Colorado Rockies shortstop Trevor Story by less than 10,000 votes. Story caught fans’ eyes with a hot start to the season.
Outside of the infield, it looks like Chicago will likely have other representatives. Dexter Fowler, Jason Heyward and Jorge Soler are all in the top six of the outfield voting. Catcher Miguel Montero is also third among NL catchers. The Cubs’ strong showing in early voting likely owes to a combination of the team’s hot start and the fans’ excitement over having an elite team to root for.
In 2015, the Kansas City Royals’ had as many as eight players leading in early All-Star game voting. The league stepped in, however, and canceled 65 million votes. The Royals ended up with four starters and three reserves in the game.
As for the rest of the NL’s voting leaders, none are too surprising. Bryce Harper leads all outfielders and Yadier Molina leads all catchers. Harper is a three-time All-Star and Molina has made it each of the past seven years.
The American League’s vote counts were released Tuesday. Kansas City catcher Salvador Perez leads all AL players with 1,094,942 votes. The Royals and Boston Red Sox combine to have five of the AL’s nine starters. The next AL vote update is expected to come next Tuesday, with the NL vote count expected on June 8.