Predicting every starter in the 2022 MLB All-Star game
With the MLB season way more than 50 games deep, it’s time to start making MLB All-Star predictions for 2022.
The All-Star Game is always one of the highlights of the summer, and if fans make good on their MLB All-Star picks in 2022, this could end up being one of the best All-Star games of all time. With the game so highly anticipated, we wanted to make MLB All-Star roster predictions for this year’s game.
MLB All Star predictions 2022
Of course, MLB All-Star Team predictions can be hard to foresee because of the MLB All-Star voting rules that give fans the power to pick the starters.
Fortunately, the process has been simplified for fans that need all-star voting explained to them. While we probably won’t agree with the fans on everything, here is a look at our MLB All-Star predictions for 2022 as far as who should be in the starting lineup for both teams.
American League All Star predictions 2022
Catcher: Alejandro Kirk, Blue Jays
Before the season, this would have been one of the more surprising MLB All-Star predictions for 2022. But Alejandro Kirk is the hands-down pick for the best catcher in the American League this year.
He’s hitting well over .300 while no other regular catcher is even close. His OPS is also closer to .900 than .800, and once again, no other catcher in the AL is even close.
The usual suspects like Salvador Perez, Yasmani Grandal, Gary Sanchez, and Sean Murphy have all had disappointing campaigns to this point, so if the voters are paying attention, Kirk should run away with his first all-star selection, which isn’t bad for a 23-year-old.
First Base: Ty France, Mariners
Again, this is one of the more surprising MLB All-Star roster predictions based on what most would have projected at the start of the season. While the Mariners haven’t had a great season, there’s no denying that Ty France has had a standout season, hitting well over .300 and putting himself on pace to at least flirt with 30 homers this year.
Second Base: Jose Altuve, Astros
Jose Altuve would have been the obvious choice for most people before the season and he’s fulfilled those expectations. Even without Carlos Correa in Houston, Altuve has still been the spark plug for the Astros.
In fairness, this is a tight race, as youngsters like Andres Gimenez and Santiago Espinal have both had impressive seasons. Gleyber Torres has also bounced back nicely and is challenging Altuve for the most homers among AL second basemen. But Altuve is still the most well-rounded and productive second basemen in the league.
Third Base: Jose Ramirez, Guardians
Plenty of third basemen in the AL have had decent years, but this is a two-horse race between Ramirez and Devers. While Devers has the higher average and a few more extra-base hits, Ramirez is blowing everyone in the majors away when it comes to RBIs, which is why we give the nod to him.
Shortstop: Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox
Needless to say, the competition is fierce at shortstop this season. Bo Bichette, J.P. Crawford, and Tim Anderson before his recent injury have all put together strong campaigns. But while he’s a little behind Bichette and some others in homers, Xander Bogaerts has been the stop shortstop in the American League this year.
If Anderson and Carlos Correa hadn’t been held back by injuries, this would be a more difficult decision. But outside of those two, nobody else is hitting for both average and power like Bogaerts, so he has to be the choice for AL shortstop.
Left Field: Austin Hays, Orioles
We’re as surprised as anyone to see a member of the Orioles listed as an all-star starter. But the competition in the AL among left fielders has been surprisingly light.
Other than Kansas City’s Andrew Benintendi, Austin Hays is the only regular left fielder who’s hitting anywhere near .300 this year. He’s got Benintendi beat in the power department, giving Baltimore fans something to watch during the All-Star Game.
Center Field: Mike Trout, Angels
There’s no reason why anyone but Mike Trout should be starting in the All-Star Game for the foreseeable future.
To be fair, George Springer has had a great year and Byron Buxton has put on a show with his power. But Trout has done nothing to make us think that he’s not the best player in the game right now, so he’s a shoo-in for the AL starting lineup.
Right Field: Aaron Judge, Yankees
This might be the easiest of the MLB All-Star predictions in 2022. Aaron Judge is quite literally crushing it with his power, likely making him the MVP front-runner at this point in the season.
Designated Hitter: Yordan Alvarez, Astros
This might be the toughest decision for voters in the American League. J.D. Martinez is on the shortlist for the batting title race. Trey Mancini has had a good year and remains a great feel-good story.
Plus, why wouldn’t fans want to see Shohei Ohtani?
But outside of Judge, nobody has hit for power the way Yordan Alvarez has this season. He has picked up where he left off last season when he won ALCS MVP honors and is deserving of his first all-star selection.
Starting Pitcher: Justin Verlander, Astros
Obviously, you can’t go wrong no matter who you pick here. The likes of Alek Manoah, Nestor Cortes, and Shane McClanahan have surely proven that they are the future of the All-Star Game. But Justin Verlander is still the cream of the crop.
He’s come back from Tommy John surgery and hasn’t skipped a beat. Even at age 39, he’s still at or near the top of the AL in wins, ERA, WHIP, batting average against, and strikeouts. He’s more than earned the right to start the 2022 All-Star Game.
National League All Star predictions 2022
Catcher: Willson Contreras, Cubs
Willson Contreras has been one of the few bright spots for the Cubs this season and easily the best catcher in the National League, making this one of the easier MLB All-Star predictions for 2022.
Tyler Stephenson, another catcher on a bad team, is also having an impressive season with the bat. Will Smith and Travis d’Arnaud have also posted solid numbers. But Contreras already has 10 homers and 10 doubles, which no other catcher in the NL can say, making him the clear frontrunner to start the Midsummer Classic behind the plate.
First Base: Paul Goldschmidt, Cardinals
This might be the toughest position in the National League with regard to MLB All-Star roster predictions. Pete Alonso has taken things to another level, Josh Bell has been a bright spot for Washington, and veterans like Freddie Freeman and Matt Olson have had productive years.
Colorado’s C.J. Cron has also had a massive first half. But with his hot streak in May and early June, Paul Goldschmidt still stands out from the pack. He’s hitting well over .300 and has also hit for plenty of power. Even with so many great first basemen in the NL this year, Goldschmidt is the only one who is flirting with an OPS of 1.000, so he has to be the top pick for all-star honors.
Second Base: Jazz Chisholm, Marlins
We can’t understand why the Marlins have criticized Jazz Chisholm internally because he’s one of the few players in Miami’s lineup who has produced this year.
While most second basemen in the NL have hit a bunch of doubles, Chisholm is showing home-run power. There is certainly a good case to be made for Jeff McNeil, Ketel Marte, and Tommy Edman. But Chisholm’s power and speed have separated him from the pack.
Third Base: Manny Machado, Padres
Without Fernando Tatis Jr., Manny Machado has taken it upon himself to carry the San Diego lineup during the first half of the season, making him an MVP candidate and the obvious starter for the NL at third base.
He’s been one of the best overall hitters in baseball thus far with an average of .300 and an OPS over .900. To be fair, the likes of Nolan Arenado, Austin Riley, and even Brandon Drury deserve to be mentioned. But Machado has been a level above all of them during the first half of 2022.
Shortstop: Trea Turner, Dodgers
But when it comes to who deserves to start, Trea Turner edges them out.
Among NL shortstops, he’s at or near the top in average, doubles, and triples. His speed is still a weapon that few players can match, which is why he continues to stand out. It’s a close race with the likes of Swanson and Lindor, who have both stolen their fair share of bases as well. But Turner has been just a little better thus far.
Left Field: Ian Happ, Cubs
It’ll be fascinating to see what direction voters go in when it comes to left field in the National League. Kyle Schwarber, Joc Pederson, and Jorge Soler surely have power working in their favor. But in terms of a well-rounded hitter who can also play a little defense, Ian Happ has been the best despite playing on a bad team.
Center Field: Bryan Reynolds, Pirates
This is one position where the NL is lagging far behind the AL in quality options.
Bryan Reynolds was far better in 2021 than he’s been this season and is still playing on a bad team. But he’s still been the best of the bunch despite most of his RBIs being himself on homers.
That being said, voters could choose Daulton Varsho, Brandon Nimmo, or even Yonathan Daza and there wouldn’t be too many complaints. It’s a weak position for the NL, helping to give Reynolds the benefit of the doubt based on past performances.
Right Field: Mookie Betts, Dodgers
With Juan Soto having a down year, at least according to his standards, he’s clearly the second-choice in right field behind Mookie Betts. Soto has still hit plenty of home runs, but Betts has hit more long balls, not to mention hit for a higher average and driven in more runs.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention Starling Marte and Mike Yastrzemski because they have been excellent as well. But this was always going to be a two-horse race, and in that race, Betts has started to pull away from Soto.
Designated Hitter: Bryce Harper, Phillies
For the first time ever, the National League is going to have a bonafide DH at the All-Star Game. Without question, that honor will go to Bryce Harper, who has a shoulder injury that has forced him to the DH role.
Of course, he’s been close to unstoppable in that role. He’s neck and neck with Goldschmidt for the best OPS in the NL and is around the top-five in most major categories, including doubles, homers, and RBIs.
He could also end up competing for the batting title during the second half of the season. While he hasn’t played the field enough to compete with Betts and Soto in right field, he’s been without question the top DH in the National League this year.
Starting Pitcher: Joe Musgrove, Padres
This has become one of the toughest MLB All-Star predictions in 2022, largely because Jacob deGrom hasn’t pitched and Max Scherzer is on the IL. With those two sidelined, this has become a battle between Joe Musgrove and Miami’s Sandy Alcantara.
This could easily go either way, although we’ll give a slight nod to Musgrove, who has been the best in the majors this year at putting his team in a position to win games.
The high strikeout rate and low WHIP are there, of course. But Musgrove is dominating hitters and winning games better than anyone else in the National League has this year.
Jun 5, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Mookie Betts (50) reacts after avoiding being hit by pitch from New York Mets relief pitcher Edwin Diaz (39) during the eighth inning at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports With the MLB season way more than 50 games deep,…