Blake Snell has the lowest ERA in the AL at 2.09. Bryce Harper has an average of .218 and a WAR of 0.2. Snell didn’t even make the All Star Game, while Harper is getting to start in the Mid Summer Classic. This is simply absurd, and it shows how flawed the All Star Game Voting is.
Lets start with the first major flaw, which is that each team needs one representative. This is what hurt Snell. Tampa Bay already had a representative in staring catcher Wilson Ramos. On the other hand, the Blue Jays and Twins need a representative. Because of that, JA Happ (4.44 ERA) and Jose Berrios (3.54 ERA) made the team over Snell. The All Star Game is supposed to showcase the best MLB players. However, the worse teams have to have representatives, so that goal is no longer being fulfilled.
A 2.09 ERA should put Blake Snell in the running to be a starter. He has been amazing as of late and really separated himself from the pack this month. However, the players have to vote a month and a half before and are given a paper with no stats on it, according to Astros pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. At the time, JA Happ had been very efficient, but a horrible June upped his ERA to 4.44. He may have been deserving of the All Star Game at the time, but its clear he is no longer deserving of that honor. The difference in ERA between Snell and Happ is 2.35. That difference is too big to ignore, and it just how flawed voting the reserves and pitchers is.
Now lets focus on the most major flaw, which is the fan voting. Every year, the MLB lets the fans vote for who they believe should start in the All Star Game. Even though they provide stats, fans tend to still vote for their favorite players. Hence, why Bryce Harper made the team as a starter despite having a .218 average and a 0.2 WAR. He’s one of the most popular players in the league, so as long as fan voting exists, he’ll start in the All Star Game every year for the rest of his career no matter how bad of a season he is having. Plus, the stats that is given is only offensive stats. To be an All Star, a player should be able to contribute in all facets of the game. Someone like Lorenzo Cain may not have flashy numbers with a .290 average and 8 home runs. However, he has an elite .394 OBP, 12 drs, and a 4.1 WAR (highest in the NL). By his WAR, Cain is a serious NL MVP candidate. However since the fans can’t see these very important stats, they vote for the guys with the highest average and the most home runs, even if that’s all they are good for. If the All Star Game is supposed to showcase the best players, then more important stats need to be provided for fans, or fan voting should just completely be taken away.
The All Star Game is supposed to showcase the best players in the MLB. However due to several flaws in the voting, this doesn’t happen. Blake Snell getting snubbed and Bryce Harper making the team as a starter is simply just a harsh reminder of how broken the system is. For the All Star Game to achieve its main purpose, commissioner Robert Manfred needs to fix this flaws in a hurry. If he doesn’t, the All Star Game will continue to be a complete waste of a game.