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Dodgers

Cody Bellinger and Mike Trout elected as MLB All-Star Game starters

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Dodgers right fielder Cody Bellinger, left, and Angels center fielder Mike Trout were named starters for next month’s Major League Baseball All-Star Game on Thursday.
(Kyusung Gong, Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

Angels center fielder Mike Trout and Dodgers right fielder Cody Bellinger were elected as starters for the All-Star game, Major League Baseball announced Thursday.

Trout led all players in votes. Bellinger finished second in the National League in voting behind Christian Yelich of the Milwaukee Brewers. It is the eighth straight All-Star selection and seventh consecutive start for Trout, the American League leader in on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and OPS entering Thursday. The two-time AL MVP is the first Angel ever elected seven times as a starter. Tommy La Stella finished third in voting among second basemen.

“It’s an honor,” the 27-year-old Trout said, “and a humbling honor to do it seven times.”

It is the second All-Star nod for the 23-year-old Bellinger and the first as a starter. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, who will manage the NL All-Star team, said Bellinger will play center field, with Christian Yelich in right field and Ronald Acuna in left. Entering Thursday, Bellinger led the majors in batting average and OPS while his 26 home runs ranked third, fueling the best team in the majors. Hyun-Jin Ryu is the front-runner to start on the mound for the National League and fellow starting pitchers Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw could also make the team, Bellinger might be the only Dodgers position player invited to play in Cleveland on July 9.

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Outfielder Joc Pederson was the only other Dodger to reach the second round of voting. He finished ninth among the nine outfielder finalists. On Thursday, Roberts made a case for Max Muncy and Justin Turner.

“I think that Max Muncy deserves to be an All-Star, for me, and not only for me,” Roberts said. “I think he deserves to be an All-Star period. And I think Justin Turner should be in the conversation, no doubt.”

Muncy entered Thursday batting .274 with 17 home runs and an .897 OPS after a breakout 2018 campaign. He was on the All-Star ballot as a first baseman, but he’s started nearly as many games at second base (23 to 24 at first base) and has started another 18 at third.

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Turner, meanwhile, has stiff competition at third base. Nolan Arenado was chosen as the starter, leaving Kris Bryant, Anthony Rendon, Manny Machado, Eduardo Escobar and Josh Donaldson among the third basemen competing with Turner for a reserve spot.

All-Star reserves and pitchers are chosen by a vote of MLB players with input from the Commissioner’s Office. The reserves will the announced Sunday at 2:30 p.m. PDT.

2019 Major League Baseball All-Star game starting position players

CATCHER

AL: Gary Sanchez, Yankees: Sanchez is second in the AL with 23 home runs and he has six more than any other catcher.

NL: Willson Contreras, Cubs: Contreras’ .300 batting average, .395 on-base percentage, .586 slugging and .981 OPS are career bests.

FIRST BASE

AL: Carlos Santana, Indians: Santana is an All-Star for the first time in his 10-year career. He received 93% of the vote from the Cleveland market.

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NL: Freddie Freeman, Braves: Freeman had the smallest margin of victory of any All-Star, but with 100 hits and 22 home runs, he is deserving.

SECOND BASE

AL: DJ LeMahieu, Yankees: An All-Star starter with the Rockies in 2015, LeMahieu now will start in his first season as a Yankee. He’s leading the AL with a .336 batting average.

NL: Ketel Marte, Diamondbacks: Marte’s 20 homers are as many as he hit in the previous three seasons, and he is tied with Freeman with 100 hits.

THIRD BASE

AL: Alex Bregman, Astros: Bregman’s 10th-inning home run helped the AL to victory in last year’s All-Star game. His 22 homers lead all third basemen.

NL: Nolan Arenado, Rockies: Arenado will start a third straight All-Star game, and he earned the highest vote share of any finalist. He’s posting a career-best .953 OPS.

SHORTSTOP

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AL: Jorge Polanco, Twins: Polanco got 93% of the vote from Minnesota, as high a share as any All-Star candidate got from a hometown.

NL: Javier Baez, Cubs: Baez, whose 19 homers leads NL shortstops, was an All-Star starter last year at second base.

OUTFIELD

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Mike Trout, Angels: Trout’s seven years in a row as an All-Star starter is a record for an Angels player. He received 993,857 votes, the most of any finalist. Trout was All-Star game MVP in 2014 and 2015.

George Springer, Astros: Springer, an All-Star starter in 2017, has 18 home runs in 51 games, and no one has more leadoff home runs than Springer’s 29 since 2016.

Michael Brantley, Astros: Brantley was an All-Star three times in Cleveland, and he will return to Progressive Field as an All-Star starter for Houston.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Christian Yelich, Brewers: Yelich leads baseball with 29 homers and has 54 since last year’s All-Star game. He also leads baseball in slugging percentage (.719) and his 930,577 votes led all NL finalists.

Cody Bellinger, Dodgers: Bellinger, a second-time All-Star at age 23, leads the majors with a .354 batting average and 1.163 OPS. His 26 home runs are second only to Yelich.

Ronald Acuña Jr., Braves: Last year’s NL Rookie of the Year will become the first player to start an All-Star game at age 21 or younger since Trout and Bryce Harper in 2013.

DESIGNATED HITTER

AL: Hunter Pence, Rangers: Pence, 36, holds career highs in slugging (.608) and OPS (.962), and his 15 home runs are his most in five years. He has been out with a groin injury since June 17.

jorge.castillo@latimes.com

Twitter: @jorgecastillo


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