ESPN's 2019 AL and NL All-Star picks

In advance of the 2019 MLB All-Star selection show on Thursday (7 p.m. ET on ESPN), ESPN.com asked six of its contributors -- Bradford Doolittle, Buster Olney, David Schoenfield, Sam Miller, Tim Kurkjian and Jeff Passan -- to select the players they think should be on the rosters for the Midsummer Classic on July 9 in Cleveland.

Below are our starters, based on the experts' votes, and all of the other players who got votes as reserves or pitchers. We also asked some of our contributors to answer questions about their selections.

For a complete list of their individual picks, click here.

American League



Starter voting:

Catcher: Gary Sanchez, New York Yankees (5 votes) (Robinson Chirinos received one vote; Sanchez was chosen as a reserve on that ballot)

First base: Carlos Santana, Cleveland Indians (6)

Second base:DJ LeMahieu, New York Yankees (5) (Whit Merrifield received one vote; LeMahieu was chosen as a reserve on that ballot)

Third base: Alex Bregman, Houston Astros (4) (Matt Chapmanreceived two votes; Bregman was chosen as a reserve on those ballots)

Shortstop (tie): Jorge Polanco, Minnesota Twins (3) andXander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox (3) (Bogaerts and Polanco tied with three votes each)

Outfield: Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels (6); Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox (3);George Springer, Houston Astros(3) (Others receiving starter votes -- Max Kepler, Joey Gallo, Michael Brantley and Austin Meadows)

Designated hitter: J.D. Martinez, Boston Red Sox (4) (Daniel Vogelbach and Joey Gallo received one vote; Martinez was chosen as a reserve on one ballot)

Reserve voting:

C: James McCann, White Sox (4); Robinson Chirinos, Astros (2); Mitch Garver, Twins (1)

1B: Edwin Encarnacion, Yankees (1); C.J. Cron, Twins (1), Luke Voit, Yankees (1)

2B: Brandon Lowe, Rays (4); Whit Merrifield, Royals (3)

3B: Matt Chapman, A's (4); Hunter Dozier, Royals (2); Rafael Devers, Red Sox (1)

SS: Marcus Semien, A's (2); Francisco Lindor, Indians (2); Gleyber Torres, Yankees (1); (Note -- Bogaerts and Polanco each received three starter votes and three reserve votes)

OF: Tommy Pham, Rays (3); Byron Buxton, Twins (3); Trey Mancini, Orioles (4); Austin Meadows, Rays (2); Eddie Rosario, Twins (1); Joey Gallo, Rangers (2); Max Kepler, Twins (3); Michael Brantley, Astros (1)

DH: Daniel Vogelbach, Mariners (5)

Pitcher voting:

Lucas Giolito, SP, White Sox (6)

Justin Verlander, SP, Astros (6)

Mike Minor, SP, Rangers (6)

Jake Odorizzi, SP, Twins (5)

Charlie Morton, SP, Rays (6)

Brad Hand, RP, Indians (6)

Jose Berrios, SP, Twins (6)

Ryan Pressly, RP, Astros (6)

Matthew Boyd, SP, Tigers (3)

Ken Giles, RP, Blue Jays (5)

Shane Greene, RP, Tigers (4)

Gerrit Cole, SP, Astros (4)

Chris Sale, SP, Red Sox (3)

John Means, SP, Orioles (2)

Lance Lynn, SP, Rangers (1)

Marcus Stroman, SP, Blue Jays (1)

Aroldis Chapman, RP, Yankees (2)

What do you make of the pitching staff in the AL?

Well, I suspect the actual AL pitching staff may be worse than the one I selected. I included Chris Sale and Gerrit Cole on my team, for example, based on their history and dominant peripheral stats this season. But they aren't among the ERA leaders, and depending on how the mandatory team reps are filled, we could see guys like John Means or Marco Gonzales on the team. Throw in some down years/injuries from pitchers like Blake Snell, Corey Kluber, Luis Severino, Carlos Carrasco and even Sale's 3-7 W-L record, and the cream of the AL pitching crop is a lot thinner.-- David Schoenfield

Who should be the starting pitcher for the AL?

Justin Verlander. He has allowed a lot of home runs -- 21 in 114.2 innings -- but most of those have been solo shots and he's 10-3 with a 2.67 ERA and .157 batting average allowed. Plus, he obviously has the star power you associate with an All-Star Game. He should get his second All-Star start -- and hopefully fare better than in 2012, when he allowed five runs in the first inning. -- Schoenfield

National League



Starter voting:

Catcher: Yasmani Grandal, Milwaukee Brewers (3) (Willson Contreras received two votes andJ.T. Realmuto one; Grandal was chosen as a reserve on two ballots)

First base: Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves (4) (Josh Bell received two votes; Freeman was chosen as a reserve on both of those ballots)

Second base (tie):Mike Moustakas, Milwaukee Brewers (3) and Ketel Marte, Arizona Diamondbacks (3) (Marteand Moustakas tied with three votes)

Third base: Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies (5) (Anthony Rendon received one vote; Arenado was chosen as a reserve on that ballot)

Shortstop: Javier Baez, Chicago Cubs (4) (Paul DeJong and Trevor Story each received one vote)

Outfield: Cody Bellinger, Los Angeles Dodgers (6); Christian Yelich, Milwaukee Brewers (6); Ronald Acuna Jr., Atlanta Braves (5) (Charlie Blackmon received one vote; Acuna was chosen as a reserve on that ballot)

Reserve voting:

C: J.T. Realmuto, Phillies (3); Willson Contreras, Cubs (3)

1B: Josh Bell, Pirates (4); Pete Alonso, Mets (5); Anthony Rizzo, Cubs (1); Rhys Hoskins, Phillies (2)

2B: Jeff McNeil, Mets (3)(Note -- Moustakas and Marte each received three starter votes and three reserve votes)

3B: Anthony Rendon, Nationals (5); Kris Bryant, Cubs (5); Brian Anderson, Marlins (1); Manny Machado, Padres (1)

SS: Trevor Story, Rockies (3); Paul DeJong, Cardinals (4); Fernando Tatis Jr. (2); Dansby Swanson, Braves (1)

OF: Charlie Blackmon, Rockies (4); Austin Riley, Braves (1); Alex Verdugo, Dodgers (1); Hunter Renfroe, Padres (2); Juan Soto, Nationals (3); Bryce Harper, Phillies (1)

Utility: Max Muncy, Dodgers (4)

Pitcher voting:

Hyun-Jin Ryu, SP, Dodgers (6)

Zack Greinke, SP, D-backs (6)

Max Scherzer, SP, Nationals (6)

Kirby Yates, RP, Padres (6)

Luis Castillo, SP, Reds (6)

Will Smith, RP, Giants (6)

Josh Hader, RP, Brewers (5)

Mike Soroka, SP. Braves (4)

Jacob deGrom, SP, Mets (4)

Walker Buehler, SP, Dodgers (4)

Cole Hamels, SP, Cubs (3)

Clayton Kershaw, SP, Dodgers (3)

Caleb Smith, SP, Marlins (3)

German Marquez, SP, Rockies (2)

Trevor Richards, SP, Marlins (1)

Chris Paddack, SP, Padres (1)

Felipe Vazquez, RP, Pirates (2)

John Gant, RP, Cardinals (1)

Kyle Hendricks, SP, Cubs (1)

Stephen Strasburg, SP, Nationals (1)

Sandy Alcantara, SP, Marlins (1)

Who should be the starting pitcher for the NL (and why)?

As good as Scherzer has been, and he seems to be getting better with each start lately, Ryu's first half demands to be rewarded. It's not just that he leads the NL in wins and ERA, it's that he's doing so with a 9-1 record and a surreal 1.27 ERA. Having 90 strikeouts and only six walks doesn't hurt, either. -- Schoenfield

More questions and answers



Who were the toughest omissions for you?

In the NL, pitchers Mike Soroka and German Marquez. Soroka has been terrific, but he got squeezed out to make room for a Marlin and I went with Clayton Kershaw as my final pitcher. He is, after all, Clayton Kershaw, and he has a 3.07 ERA. Marquez remains underrated and his .523 OPS allowed on the road suggests he's one of the best around, with Coors Field inflating his overall numbers. Kris Bryant and J.T. Realmuto have good cases and if Fernando Tatis Jr. hadn't missed 34 games he may have been a lock, given his triple-slash line.

In the AL, I guess I could have gone with Marcus Stroman instead of Ken Giles as the Blue Jays rep, but I took Lance Lynn as my final pitcher since he leads AL pitchers in FanGraphs WAR and ranks seventh in Baseball-Reference WAR. Jake Odorizzi has a strong case as well, although he averages barely five innings per start. The crowded shortstop field means no Carlos Correa (who is injured anyway), Marcus Semien, Adalberto Mondesi, Elvis Andrus or Gleyber Torres. -- Schoenfield

In the AL, it was Rafael Devers. He deserves to be in there, but it was either him and Kansas City's Hunter Dozier, and I needed a Royal. In the NL, there was really a numbers problem among position players, and I think Javier Baez deserves to and likely will be on the roster. He fell short in my formula, but if Trevor Story is unable to go, Baez will slide in anyway. If only we didn't have to include a Marlin.-- Doolittle

Which team would you pick if you had to pick a winner?

Well, there's little doubt that the NL will have the stronger roster from 1 through 32. This isn't surprising given the NL has a big edge in interleague play and all the weak teams at the bottom of the AL standings. Plus, the AL is overcrowded with talent at some positions (especially shortstop) while weak at others (first base), creating a roster where all the best players don't actually make the team. -- Schoenfield

By the metrics I used to compiled the roster, it's the NL by a hair. So I'll go with that. After all, the AL only has one Mike Trout, while the NL has both Christian Yelich and Cody Bellinger. -- Doolittle
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