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All-Star Game 2016: The Beyond the Box Score National League All-Stars

Join us as the BtBS staff selects their version of the mid-season All-Stars! Today we finish with the National League team.

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Hey there, baseball fans. With the Mid-Summer Classic now in the books, it's time to finish revealing our choices for the league's All-Stars. Each year, the staff at Beyond the Box Score votes on our own selections for the players most deserving of All-Star berths without taking into account fan voting or manager nepotism (though, let's be fair, this year was pretty good on that account.). Instead, we use objective metrics and our own expert analysis of all things baseball to select our own All-Star team and publish it so you can decide if we've come up with a worthy alternative.

We'll close things out with the National League. And, so you can mock us for our choices, we'll provide a spreadsheet with all the votes of our staff, so you can understand who we considered.

Here's a (not-so) quick recap the criteria I asked our writers to use when deciding on this year's All-Stars.

  • All-Star selection should be based primarily on objective analysis of on-field performance during the first half of the 2016 season.
  • Secondary considerations for All-Star selection can include, at your discretion: objective analysis of on-field performance during the second half of the 2015 season, a player's "true talent level", career accomplishments, or other factors.
  • The American League will have a starting designated hitter selected with the starters ... but the National League has their starting DH selected at the same time as the first set of reserves. Trust me, it worked.
  • Outfield positions will be broken down into LF / CF / RF as opposed to just placing three outfielders on each team. Given the differences between the three positions, this feels appropriate.
  • Each team will also have a starting pitcher voted on to the team. This pitcher is, presumably, the starter considered the best in his respective league at this time.
  • Each of the MLB franchises will have a representative, even though some teams are awful.

So, without further ado -- here is our National League team and the vote results!

2016 Beyond the Box Score NL All-Star Starters

  • Kris Bryant - LF (Cubs)
  • Daniel Murphy - 2B (Nationals)
  • Anthony Rizzo - DH (Cubs)
  • Paul Goldschmidt - 1B (Diamondbacks)
  • Bryce Harper - RF (Nationals)
  • Nolan Arenado - 3B (Rockies)
  • Corey Seager - SS (Dodgers)
  • Buster Posey - C (Giants)
  • Marcell Ozuna - CF (Marlins)
  • Clayton Kershaw - SP (Dodgers)
Strange, isn't it? To see no Cubs in the infield? While the real-world NL All-Stars fielded a full compliment of baby bears, our squad features two Chicagoans. Kris Bryant made our squad as the team's left fielder (he tied in votes with Starling Marte of the Pirates, but won the tiebreaker due to an extra vote as the starting 3B), and Anthony Rizzo lost the starting 1B job to Paul Goldschmidt but won the DH nod during our second round of voting. (Rizzo tied in that voting too, but received more overall votes than any other reserve, so he took this slot.)

While there were some no-doubters who took a lion's share of the votes at their respective starting slots (Corey Seager, Nolan Arenado, and Daniel Murphy all dominated their positions), only one National League starter was a unanimous selection: Clayton Kershaw. The universe's best pitcher may not have gotten to pitch in the real game, but he was the undisputed champion of our voters' hearts.

There were a couple of closer votes as well–while Goldschmidt received twice as many votes as Rizzo, both Brandon Belt and Wil Myers got votes to start at first base. The outfield was hotly contested, with Bryce Harper just edging out Gregory Polanco by two votes and Marcell Ozuna passing Dexter Fowler by three votes. Also, catcher was a very close call, with Buster Posey just winning one vote more than the Brewers' Jonathan Lucroy.

On to the position-player reserves!

2016 Beyond the Box Score NL All-Star Reserves

  • Wilson Ramos - C (Nationals)
  • Jonathan Lucroy - C (Brewers)
  • Wil Myers - 1B (Padres)
  • Ben Zobrist - 2B (Cubs)
  • Brandon Crawford - SS (Giants)
  • Matt Carpenter - 3B / 2B (Cardinals)
  • Jake Lamb - 3B (Diamondbacks)
  • Gregory Polanco - RF (Pirates)
  • Carlos Gonzalez - RF (Rockies)
  • Dexter Fowler - CF (Cubs)
  • Odubel Herrera - CF (Phillies)
  • Yoenis Cespedes - CF / LF (Mets)
  • Starling Marte - LF (Pirates)
  • Adam Duvall - LF (Reds)
Just like the AL team, the BtBS NL All-Star team leans a bit towards position players over pitchers. Part of that is due to the fact that each team is required to field a player, and our voters tended to give that honor to position players for the teams without no-doubt All-Stars. Even though Jonathan Lucroy missed out in both the starting and backup catcher votes (to Posey and Wilson Ramos), he was selected over Ryan Braun as the designated Brewer. Odubel Herrera, who carries on the Phillies' tradition of finding great center fielders in the Rule 5 Draft, beat out Aaron Nola for his team's slot. Pop-up slugger Adam Duvall was chosen to represent the Cincinnati Reds.

Many of the rest of these players are guys you'd expect: Ben Zobrist and Dexter Fowler were no-doubt selections in the first reserve round of voting, and started the real-world All-Star Game. Though left off the real National League roster this year, Brandon Crawford was the choice by our staff as a backup shortstop thanks to his combo of defense and offense. And, very surprisingly, two-thirds of the Pirates outfield joins the team ... the missing piece is the slumping Andrew McCutchen! Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco made the team instead of the multi-time Pittsburgh All-Star.

The just-missed guy for this team was Giants first baseman Brandon Belt. He got so close to selection in several votes. First, he tied Wil Myers for second-most votes for backup first baseman, so when Rizzo was made the starting DH, he almost made the team there ... but Myers had two more DH votes. Then, during the final Wild Card round, Belt tied with Yoenis Cespedes and Christian Yelich for the last spot on the team. Since Cespedes had received more starter votes than the other two, he was selected to the team, leaving Belt and Yelich on the bench this year.

2016 Beyond the Box Score NL Pitchers

  • Clayton Kershaw - SP (Dodgers)
  • Noah Syndergaard - SP (Mets)
  • Jose Fernandez - SP (Marlins)
  • Madison Bumgarner - SP (Giants)
  • Jake Arrieta - SP (Cubs)
  • Stephen Strasburg - SP (Nationals)
  • Julio Teheran - SP (Braves)
  • Johnny Cueto - SP (Giants)
  • Kenley Jansen - RP (Dodgers)
  • Seung-Hwan Oh - RP (Cardinals)
  • Jeurys Familia - RP (Mets)
Yes, we have no relief pitchers. Our ballot provides three spots specifically for relievers, and the rest of the slots are wild cards or team-specific roles. Personally, I have no problem with this–after all, relief pitchers appear to be more fungible and provide less overall value over a season than starters or position players–but that does leave the NL bullpen very light. Also, the NL relief corps in general this year doesn't have the strength of the AL, where there are several lights-out firemen. As a result, the seventh-eighth-ninth innings will be owned by Jeurys Familia (who doesn't blow saves unless it's in the postseason), and the league's likely two best closers: Kenley Jansen and THE FINAL BOSS Seung-Hwan Oh. If you're only going to have three guys, these three are a lot of fun. Familia only barely edged out Fernando Rodney and Hector Rondon by one vote, if that matters to you.

On the other side of things, we've got starting pitchers ... and these guys are good. Noah Syndergaard was the only NL reserve to get a unanimous set of votes. Most of the rest of the starters were no-doubters: Jose Fernandez and Madison Bumgarner received almost the whole complement of votes, while Jake Arrieta and Stephen Strasburg rounded out the starters-only votes. Johnny Cueto just missed selection in the first reserve round, but earned his spot in the Wild Card voting at the end of the selection process. And Julio Teheran was a no-doubt choice as the Braves' only representative.

So there you have it! All of the complete voting can be found here. Feel free to comment and give us your thoughts on our selections in the comments below! Did we do better or worse than the real-world selections?