Yesterday I went over who is starting for the American League as well as who should be starting. Today I will do the same for the National League. Let's get right to it.
(All Stats as of July 6th.)
Catcher: Geovany Soto, Cubs. .289/15/52. I think the difference between Soto and Brian McCann (Braves - .293/15/48) is small enough that the fact that Soto's team is in 1st place should give him the nod. Pretty crappy year for catchers across the majors.
1st Base: Lance Berkman, Astros. .349/22/70/74 R/.437 OBP. Berkman is having a phenomenal year and is the clear choice here despite a strong class of NL 1st baseman.
2nd Base: Chase Utley, Phillies. .294/25/68. Utley is having a typically superb year and deserves to start, but it's a lot closer than I would have imagined due to the excellent play of Dan Uggla (Marlins - .289/23/58).
3rd Base: Chipper Jones, Braves. .388/18/50/.485 OBP. As much as I hate Larry, he's a hell of a baseball player having a hell of a year. No argument here.
Shortstop: Hanley Ramirez, Marlins. .303/21/43/21 SB. Ramirez is also the clear choice in a down year for shortstops. Still no complaints so far with the fans choices, but I may have spoken too soon...
Outfield: Ryan Braun, Brewers, (.284/21/59). Alfonso Soriano, Cubs, (.283/15/40). Kosuke Fukudome, Cubs, (.287/7/35). Ah, here we go. Now I have some complaints. Braun is fine, he's having a good year when most NL outfielders aren't. Soriano shouldn't be starting, but I don't have a problem with him being on the team. Fukudome is a different matter. His numbers are above average, sure. But starting an All Star game? You've got to be kidding. He shouldn't even be on the team. So who else should be starting? Well, two guys who are eligible for the final spot, Carlos Lee (Astros - .292/20/70) and Pat Burrell (Phillies - .278/22/54/.410 OBP). The fact that one of these guys isn't going to make the team is ridiculous when you've got guys like Fukudome and Ryan Ludwick occupying spots. And yes, I understand that the suggested starting outfield of Carlos Lee, Ryan Braun and Pat Burrell might be the worst defensive outfield of all time, but so what? It's a fucking all star game.
As for the designated hitter, just put Pujols there and let Adrian Gonzalez be the first sub at 1st base.
All right, I've said my peace. As usual, I'm right. But hey, that's why they pay me the big bucks.