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MLB All-Star Game 2018: These are the best of the best - Stand now!

Since June 1st it's that time again: Fans all over the world can vote for their all-stars. But who deserved to play for the American and National League teams in mid-July? MLB editor Marcus Blumberg gives an initial overview.

The majority of fans will, as always, follow the principle of popularity: Which players do you like best? Does he maybe even play for the favorite team? Of course, these are not necessarily the main criteria to be consulted for an All-Star election.

Rather, all-stars are about picking out the best players in a given season. To do this as objectively as possible, there is certainly no sport that can be better explained by statistics than baseball. Accordingly, we are now looking at the current level of performance of the top people in several issues and are thus putting together our all-star teams.

The statistics I'm focusing on for this are OPS + from Baseball reference as well as wRC + from Fangraphs. Both are cumulative offensive statistics that have been freed from environmental factors and that reflect the value of a player as objectively as possible. The following applies to both: 100 reflects the league average. If someone has a value of 150, then their offensive performance is 50 percent better than the average, etc. (If you still want to see the traditional stats, just click on the respective name of the player and look at his profile!)

National League All-Stars

First Baseman: Freddie Freeman (Atlanta Braves)

The biggest star of the up-and-coming Braves got off to a strong start into the season and leads all players in his position in the NL in the stats. And unlike last year he is in top shape and therefore a sure all-star starter.

Second Baseman: Scooter Gennett (Cincinnati Reds)

My first thought in this position was Ozzie Albies. The dynamic youngster is currently causing a sensation among the Braves and is in the limelight. But Gennett is having a much better season! Albies' wRC + alone is nearly 40 percent (119) worse than Gennetts, who is perhaps the best offensive player on his team right now. He is also the only NL second baseman to have more than 2 wins above replacement on his account.

Shortstop: Brandon Crawford (San Francisco Giants)

Nuances currently lie between Crawford and Chris Taylor of the Dodgers. Ultimately, the choice falls on Crawford for the moment, who has so far shown a little more offensively than his worst opponent. In addition, the fact that he is a trained shortstop speaks for him, while Taylor basically only replaces the injured Corey Seager.

Third baseman: Nolan Arenado (Colorado Rockies)

It's a neck and neck race between Arenado and Kris Bryant of the Cubs. Currently, however, Arenado is slightly ahead. But there is actually no doubt that the loser in the fan voting will still be elected to the team by colleagues, managers and the like. Also strong: Eugenio Suarez from the Reds, who shouldn't be represented more than once in a perfect world due to their sporty imbalance.

Catcher: Buster Posey (San Francisco Giants)

Tight box! Posey leads NL catchers in both categories as well as in WAR, but the gap between him, Yasmani Grandal (Dodgers) and Willson Contreras (Cubs) is marginal. In this respect, it is still too early to make a final decision. Posey would now have my voice because of his shiny vita.

Outfield: Bryce Harper (Washington Nationals)

The stats in this position are not really helpful. The wRC + leaders would have been Matt Kemp (Dodgers), Nick Markakis (Braves) and Kyle Schwarber (Cubs), even though Harper is actually playing the better season. He leads the NL in home runs (18) and also has the most RBI (40) on the account. The batting average (.232) gives him trouble. The bottom line, however, is he's the all-star host Washington's biggest star, so he just has to be there.

Outfield: Matt Kemp (Los Angeles Dodgers)

It's hard to believe, but there's really no getting around Kemp. In wRC + he leads all outfielder in his league, in OPS + he is at least fourth. Secretly, quietly and quietly, the Dodgers returnee has a really good season. In this respect, an All-Star election by Kemp would be extremely deserved.

Outfield: Nick Markakis (Atlanta Braves)

Markakis is also playing an outstanding season. The veteran is better than it has been in a long time and has played a major role in the Braves' success this season. One can assume that his top performance will bypass most of the voters, but his nomination would definitely be justified.