The Braves and Dodgers led the way with three players each elected to the starting lineup.
Acuña was the NL’s leader in votes in Phase 1, which earned him an automatic starting spot. He’ll be joined by the Dodgers’ Mookie Betts and Diamondbacks rookie Corbin Carroll in the outfield.
This is Acuña’s fourth All-Star start before his 26th birthday. He’s the clear NL MVP front-runner with the season halfway finished. He’s hitting .331 with a .993 OPS, hitting 19 homers and stealing 36 bases.
Murphy is a first-time All-Star in his first season with the Braves. The A’s dealt Murphy over the winter as they continued a teardown ahead of their desired move to Las Vegas. He was considered a jewel for catcher-needy contenders, but the Braves – who already had All-Star catcher Travis d’Arnaud – won the bidding, creating a duo that’s been the envy of MLB.
Beyond his defensive acumen, Murphy has produced his best offensive season. He’s hitting .289/.385/.540 with 13 homers and 44 RBIs. He’s drawn praise from the team’s pitching staff and caught 12 base runners attempting to steal. Murphy received 61% of the fan vote, defeating Dodgers backstop Will Smith for the honor.
Murphy will be the first Braves catcher to start for the All-Star team since Brian McCann in 2011. He joins d’Arnaud (2022), McCann (2006-11, 2013), Johnny Estrada (2004) and Javy Lopez (2003) as Braves catchers who’ve made the Midsummer Classic since 2000.
No one could’ve imagined Arcia would be the NL’s starting shortstop. Many didn’t even envision him starting for the Braves until the team opted for him over youngsters Vaughn Grissom and Braden Shewmake late in spring training. And Arcia has earned this role, too. It wasn’t just because Braves fans are passionate voters for their players; Arcia has a strong argument as the NL’s best shortstop this season.
He’s made the most of this opportunity, which arose when Dansby Swanson departed for the Cubs in free agency in the offseason. Arcia has hit .303/.358/.436 with 10 doubles, six home runs and 26 RBIs. He’s played excellent defense, an important factor given he replaced a Gold Glove winner.
Arcia, who received 69% of the fan vote, is the second consecutive Braves shortstop to make the All-Star team after Swanson last season. Before the past two seasons, the Braves hadn’t had an All-Star shortstop since Edgar Renteria in 2006. Arcia is the Braves’ first elected starter at shortstop since current bench coach Walt Weiss (1998).
Olson, who leads the NL with 25 home runs, could still make the All-Star team as a reserve. He was beaten out by former Braves MVP and current Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman in the fan vote (60-40%). Olson made the All-Star team in 2021 with Oakland.
Albies is a two-time All-Star, most recently in 2021, but lost the fan vote to Marlins hitting extraordinaire Luis Arraez, who carried a .396 average into Thursday. Albies received 47% of the fan vote. Riley earned his first All-Star nod last summer. He was defeated by Cardinals star Nolan Arenado in the fan balloting, getting 43% of votes. Michael Harris, the reigning rookie of the year, also fell short in fan voting to Carroll and Betts.
Perhaps at least one of those players earns a reserve spot. The Braves could also have an All-Star pitcher – Bryce Elder (6-1, 2.44 ERA) has certainly made a strong case.
Complete All-Star rosters will be announced at 5:30 p.m. Sunday on ESPN. The 93rd All-Star game will be played July 11 in Seattle.
The NL starting lineup:
C Sean Murphy, Braves
1B Freddie Freeman, Dodgers
2B Luis Arraez, Marlins
3B Nolan Arenado, Cardinals
SS Orlando Arcia, Braves
OF Ronald Acuña Jr., Braves
OF Mookie Betts, Dodgers
OF Corbin Carroll, Diamondbacks
DH J.D. Martinez, Dodgers