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All-Star Game

Predicting the 2015 Dodgers All-Star selections

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

All-Star starters were announced on Sunday evening, with no Dodgers among the eight National League starting position players. But when reserves, pitches and Final Vote candidates are announced on Monday afternoon, the Dodgers figure to be represented in abundance.

ESPN will televise the All-Star selection show on Monday beginning at 4 p.m. PT. On the National League side, player vote accounts for eight position players, one at each position, then five starting pitchers and three relievers. The final nine players, plus the five candidates for the Final Vote, are chosen by San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy in concert with the commissioner's office.

The end result is a 34-player roster, with 21 position players and 13 pitchers.

The 2015 All-Star Game will be played on Tuesday, July 14 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.

Here is a look at a few Dodgers with at least a reasonable case for All-Star selection.

Zack Greinke

Greinke leads the majors with a 1.48 ERA, trying to become one of 13 pitchers to put up an ERA below 1.50 in at least 10 starts before the All-Star break. The last to do it was Roger Clemens in 2005.

Greinke has an active scoreless streak of 27⅔ innings, the second-longest of his career, and hasn't allowed a run in each of his last four starts. He has allowed zero or one run in 13 of his 17 starts in 2015, and in the 117 innings he has started this season has given up more than one run just four times, never more then two in one inning.

He has an excellent case to start the game, but that could fall on the shoulders of Max Scherzer, who has 41 more strikeouts than Greinke, six fewer walks, two more wins, 3⅓ more innings, an ERA that also starts with a one (1.82), the lowest WHIP in baseball (0.775), and not only a no-hitter but a three-start stretch that saw him take a perfect game into the seventh, ninth and sixth innings.

On Saturday, Greinke said he did not care one bit about starting in the All-Star Game.

Greinke has been an All-Star twice before, in 2009 with the Royals and in 2014 with the Dodgers.

Clayton Kershaw

Kershaw has struggled at times this season, but that is a relative term. Struggling for Kershaw means a 3.08 ERA in 17 starts and, thanks to poor run support at times, a 5-6 record.

Despite opposing batters averaging the second-lowest exit velocity in baseball against Kershaw (84.06 mph, per Baseball Savant), he has allowed 11 home runs, exceeding his total of the entire 2014 season (nine) and matching his 2013 campaign. Kershaw's home-run-per-fly-ball ratio is 16.2 percent this year, much higher than his 7.1-percent career mark, suggesting some bad luck in that regard.

But even with those struggles Kershaw leads the majors with 147 strikeouts, the fourth-most by a Dodgers pitcher through 81 team games in franchise history. Kershaw is striking out batters at even higher rate (32.4 percent) than last year (31.9 percent).

Kershaw is second in the National League in FIP (2.55) to Scherzer (1.94), but leads in xFIP (2.12) and SIERA (2.29).

Joc Pederson

Pederson is hitting .234/.372/.504 with 20 home runs and 56 walks in 82 games while playing a stellar center field. Pederson is just the fourth Dodger with at least 20 home runs and 55 walks before the All-Star break, joining Duke Snider (28 homers, 59 walks in 1955), Jimmy Wynn (21, 62 in 1974) and Gary Sheffield (27, 58 in 2000).

Among National League outfielders, Pederson is second in walks, third in home runs and slugging percentage, fourth in wOBA (.378), OPS and wRC+ (146), and fifth in on-base percentage. Pederson ranks third in the FanGraphs version of Wins Above Replacement (3.7) and fourth in Baseball-Reference WAR (2.9).

He joined Wally Berger (22 home runs in 1930 for the Braves) and Albert Pujols (21 in 2001 for the Cardinals) as the only National League rookies to hit 20 home runs before July 1.

Pederson would be the sixth Dodgers rookie All-Star, joining Don Newcombe (1949), Fernando Valenzuela (1981), Steve Sax (1982), Mike Piazza (1993) and Hideo Nomo (1995). Valenzuela and Nomo are the only Dodgers rookies to start, though Pederson could join them depending on the replacement(s) named for voted starters Giancarlo Stanton or Matt Holliday.

Yasmani Grandal

Grandal was the centerpiece of the Matt Kemp trade with the Padres over the winter, and has proved quite valuable in his first season with the Dodgers. Grandal is hitting .271/.384/.497 with 12 home runs, and leads National League catchers in on-base percentage, OPS, wOBA (.383), wRC+ (150) and walks (37), and is second in home runs (12) and OPS+ (145) to Buster Posey, voted in as the starting catcher in the NL.

Grandal also leads MLB in runs added by catcher framing, and has thrown out 14 of 49 runners (28.6 percent) trying to steal this season.

This would be the first career All-Star selection for Grandal, who could be the first Dodgers catcher to be named an All-Star since Russell Martin in 2008.

Adrian Gonzalez

The key for Gonzalez making his first All-Star Game since 2011 might be in his hot start, if that is fresh in the mind of either the player vote or Bochy.

On the season Gonzalez is hitting .291/.366/.518 with 23 doubles, 15 home runs and 50 RBI in 82 games. He ranks ninth in the NL in slugging percentage, 10th in OPS, eighth in OPS+ (144) and wRC+ (146) and 13th in wOBA.

Paul Goldschmidt of the Diamondbacks was voted the starter, and Anthony Rizzo of the Cubs (.292/.405/.543, 406 wOBA, 24 doubles, 15 home runs) needs to make it as well. That puts Gonzalez in competition with Freddie Freeman (.299/.367/.520, .381 wOBA, 20 doubles, 12 home runs) and hometown hero Joey Votto (.273/.387/.478, .375 wOBA, 13 doubles, 14 home runs).

The last Dodgers All-Star first baseman was Nomar Garciparra in 2006.

Justin Turner

Turner seized the third base job by continuing what he started in 2014. The redhead just keeps on hitting, to the tune of .312/.386/.558 with 14 doubles and a career-high 11 home runs in 72 games.

Despite just 223 plate appearances, 34 shy of qualifying for the batting title, Turner ranks 10th in the NL in Baseball-Reference WAR (3.2) and 12th in FanGraphs WAR (3.1), ahead of All-Star starters Dee Gordon, Jhonny Peralta and Matt Holliday.

Todd Frazier was voted to start at third base, and Nolan Arenado of the Rockies is a must-have All-Star selection, so Turner may have to fend off Matt Carpenter, an All-Star in each of the last two seasons. Perhaps Turner's positional versatility will help him, as he as started games at all four infield positions this season.

The last Dodgers All-Star third baseman was Mike Sharperson in 1992.

Kenley Jansen

Jansen got off to a late start thanks to foot surgery, pitching his first game of the year on May 15. But on the mound he has been stellar, with a 1.93 ERA and 12 saves, with 32 strikeouts and just one measly walk in 18⅔ innings. He has struck out 47.8 percent of his batters faced, and his 46.3 K-BB% is tops in baseball among pitchers with at least 10 innings.

But just 19 appearances will probably not be enough for Jansen to make his first All-Star team.

J.P. Howell

Howell sports a gaudy 0.37 ERA, with one earned run (and one unearned run) allowed in his 24⅓ innings, second in baseball among pitchers with at least 10 innings (Adam Ottavino hasn't allowed a run in 10⅓ innings for Colorado).

But for relievers, usually the call comes with high strikeout totals, high save totals or both, and Howell knows it.

"I don't think [I will be named an All-Star], just being realistic. It takes a little more than that, and I would agree with that," Howell said. "Just the thought of it is nice. That's what it's like for players like me.

"I've been closer other times. I've had saves before. Even in prior years I thought if guys got hurt I could slide in, but this year I'm not too sure. There are a lot of good candidates."


I think Greinke, Kershaw, Grandal and Pederson will be selected, with a possibility of Gonzalez and/or Turner ending up in the Final Vote.