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All-Star Game

3 Dodgers named to National League All-Star team, none are pitchers

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Max Muncy is “a no-brainer” to start at designated hitter, says Dave Roberts

Chicago Cubs v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

Three Dodgers were named to the National League All-Star team on Sunday, and will join manager Dave Roberts and the Los Angeles coaching staff at Coors Field in Denver on Tuesday, July 13.

Max Muncy, Mookie Betts, and Chris Taylor were named All-Stars, all position players.

But amazingly, even though the Dodgers lead the NL in ERA (3.17) and strikeout rate (27.7 percent), and have the second-best FIP (3.51) and walk rate (8.2 percent), none of the 12 pitchers on the NL All-Star roster are Dodgers.

No Dodgers were voted by fans to start, though Muncy finished second among National Leaguers at first base. Betts and Taylor finished fourth and fifth in the outfield, behind the three starters.

“I just think the best team in baseball, let alone the National League, doesn’t have a starter representing the National League, I don’t know,” Roberts said on Thursday. “I’m sure our guys won’t want to admit it, but they might be disappointed, because it’s an honor and a thrill to be voted in by the fans to start the All-Star Game. But it is what it is.”

While no Dodgers were picked to start by fans, Roberts gets to choose the starter at designated hitter as the NL manager, and he said earlier Sunday he’s already made that choice.

“My strong hope is that Max is on the team, and if he were on the team he’d be my DH,” Roberts said. “It would be a no-brainer.”

Muncy ranks second in the National League with a 168 wRC+, behind only starting shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr., and is hitting .264/.416/.558 with 18 home runs, leading the NL in on-base percentage and walks (55).

Dodgers 2021 All-Stars

Player Pos Selection A-S game
Player Pos Selection A-S game
Max Muncy 1B Players 2nd
Mookie Betts OF Players 5th
Chris Taylor OF Commissioner 1st

Though he’ll only be hitting in the All-Star Game, Muncy leads the Dodgers with nine Defensive Runs Saved, including +6 at first base and +3 at second base.

“It’s one of those things where, the way my career has gone, it’s always a blessing to see how far I’ve come,” Muncy said on Tuesday. “It means a lot to me that I’m getting some recognition.”

Muncy was selected by the players, collecting 258 votes at first base, behind only Freeman’s 272. He’d be the first Dodger ever to start at designated hitter in the All-Star Game.

Players also selected Betts, whose 240 votes ranked fourth in the player voting in the outfield, behind the three fan-elected starters (641 votes for Ronald Acuña Jr, 522 for Nick Castellanos, and 457 for Jesse Winker).

It’s the fifth All-Star selection for Betts, who started three times (2016-18) for the American League while with the Red Sox. This year, Betts is hitting .247/.358/.452, a 127 wRC+ with 21 doubles and 10 home runs.

Taylor is hitting .268/.379/.449 with a 134 wRC+, third in the NL with 59 runs scored and tied for 14th with 2.3 fWAR. He’s started at six different positions this season, including 32 times in center field and 26 starts at second base. He was a commissioner’s pick.

“It’s always been a goal of mine, maybe not at the forefront,” Taylor said last week. “I think everybody hopes one day to make an All-Star team. I have very high expectations for myself.”

Taylor drove in an insurance run in the ninth inning of Saturday’s win in Washington D.C.

“This is a guy who has family out here, and didn’t start [Saturday],” Roberts said Sunday. “He didn’t complain, he was ready when called upon late. At 11:58 p.m. local time, to take a big at-bat like he’s done time and time again, and to come through then go in there and play defense, it’s just what an All-Star embodies for me.”