The 2013 National League All-Star Team — our projected final team

San Francisco Giants' Sergio Romo reacts after striking out Detroit Tigers' Miguel Cabrera in the 10th inning of Game 4 of baseball's World Series Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, in Detroit. The Giants won the game 4-3 to win the World Series. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

San Francisco Giants’ Sergio Romo reacts after striking out Detroit Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera in the 10th inning of Game 4 of baseball’s World Series Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, in Detroit. The Giants won the game 4-3 to win the World Series. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

The 2013 All-Star voting is boiling down to the final hours. Balloting is down to online voting from now until 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, the Fourth of July.

Last year, during this period, there was a flood on votes cast. For example, Yadier Molina was the leading NL vote-getter when the most recent results were released Tuesday with almost 5.1 million. By the time the final surge of votes are counted, he may need more than 7 million votes to keep the title of leading vote-getter.

So a lot can still change. The All-Star teams will be announced on Saturday.

Still, MoreSplashHits is taking our best guess as to what the NL All-Star team might look like.

We’ll start with an assumption (a very shaky assumption at that) that the vote leaders won’t change in the final days of voting. But that at least serves as a starting point.

The position leaders we feel most likely will hold onto their leads and be voted All-Star starters are SS Troy Tulowitzki (although he’s injured and likely will be replaced) and OF Carlos Beltran.

We’ve added an “IF” section for those positions where the vote is close.

FANS VOTE

We’ve included their July 2 vote total, and lead over No. 2 vote-getter at their position.

  • 1B – Joey Votto, Reds (3.62 million, +587K over Paul Goldschmidt)
  • 2B – Brandon Phillips, Reds (3.41 million, +225K over Matt Carpenter)
  • SS – Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies (4.07 million, +1.7M over Brandon Crawford)
  • 3B – David Wright, Mets (4.45 million, +842K over Pablo Sandoval)
  • C – Yadier Molina, Cardinals (5.09 million, +419K over Buster Posey)
  • OF – Carlos Beltran, Cardinals (5.01 million)
  • OF – Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies (2.93 million)
  • OF – Justin Upton, Braves (2.92 million, +15K over Bryce Harper)

PLAYERS VOTES (16 players)

The players vote on eight pitchers (five starters, three relievers) and the eight backups at each position. So this is a prediction on who those players would be based on the aforementioned projected starters.

  • SP – Matt Harvey, Mets
  • SP – Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers
  • SP – Patrick Corbin, Diamondbacks
  • SP – Adam Wainwright, Cardinals
  • SP – Jordan Zimmermann, Nationals
  • RP – Craig Kimbrel, Braves
  • RP – Jason Grilli, Pirates
  • RP – Aroldis Chapman, Reds
  • 1B – Paul Goldschmidt , Diamondbacks
  • 2B – Marco Scutaro, Giants
  • SS – Jean Segura, Brewers
  • 3B – Pedro Alvarez, Pirates
  • C – Buster Posey, Giants
  • OF – Andrew McCutchen, Pirates
  • OF – Michael Cuddyer , Rockies
  • OF – Carlos Gomez , Brewers

When players vote, it’s often more about reputation than results. But I think the players will get this mostly right. The one reputation vote goes to Chapman. Results say better options could be Jonathan Papelbon of the Phillies, Edwin Mujica of the Cardinals or Rafael Soriano of the Nationals. But Chapman brings the heat. It’s not a bad pick. When Chapman is on, he’s filthy. The other tight vote goes to Scutaro. Results here say Matt Carpenter of the Cardinals is the better pick, if you base that off this year’s numbers. But if you go back to the second half of last year, then Scutaro is clearly deserving. When you add Scutaro’s postseason heroics and the fact he’s a 37-year-old veteran who has never made an All-Star team, Scutaro becomes a sentimental pick.

MANAGER PICKS (9 more)

This is where Bruce Bochy comes in. And it’s not just Bochy picking his nine favorite players. There are other factors, including making sure every team is represented and picking a third catcher.

  • P – Cliff Lee, Phillies
  • P – Jose Fernandez, Marlins (Marlins rep)
  • P – Jeff Locke, Pirates
  • P – Kevin Gregg, Cubs (Cubs rep)
  • P – Sergio Romo, Giants
  • BP – Wilin Rosario, Rockies
  • BP – Everth Cabrera, Padres (Padres rep)
  • BP – Dominic Brown, Phillies
  • BP – Allen Craig, Cardinals

OK, first the team reps. For the Marlins, a month ago it may have been closer Steve Cichek. But his ERA is on the rise. And a nod to a 20-year-old rookie would be nice bonus for Marlins fans looking to the future. For the Cubs, the best position player candidate is OF Nate Schierholtz. No kidding! Schierholtz. But really it’s down to starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija and Gregg. Samardzija has a lot of K’s, but a losing record (5-7). Gregg has been great out of the pen. For the Padres, the two candidates are up the middle: Cabrera or rookie Jedd Gyroko. Both deserving to represent the Padres, but the Tulowitzki unlikely to play (opening a roster spot for the Nationals’ Ian Desmond), Cabrera seems like the smart choice. As for the rest, Lee and Locke are solid choices. Romo is the easiest Giants selection for Bochy to defend (and if you go back to second half of 2012 plus the postseason, it’s not a bad pick). Rosario would be the third catcher (always a must in an All-Star game), and sluggers Brown and Craig round out the team.

FINAL FIVE

Bochy will get to select the five candidates for the fans to vote for the last roster spot. All of these five players are deserving. Carpenter could have been picked over Scutaro. Choo or Bruce over Brown. Freeman over Craig. Soriano over Chapman. I don’t see Bochy opening up a spot on this vote for Yasiel Puig (unless MLB makes him). Bochy loves veterans, and is unlikely to open a spot for a guy who has been up for four weeks. And frankly, we agree with that thinking.

  • Matt Carpenter, Cardinals
  • Shin-Soo Choo, Reds
  • Freddie Freeman, Braves
  • Jay Bruce, Reds
  • Rafael Soriano, Nationals

NOW FOR THE IF’S

Votto, Wright and Phillips are good bets to hold onto their leads. But if by chance they end up losing the vote, they will win on the players vote. The same is true for Molina if Posey makes a late surge. If Carpenter pulls off the upset at second base, that could bump Scutaro into a manager’s pick, bumping either Brown or Craig off the team and onto the Final Five vote (bumping Soriano off Final Five). While Scutaro is battling back issues and mallet finger — meaning he could use the break — I think Bochy would select him anyway, then maybe just give him a pinch-hitting opportunity in the All-Star Game.

Upton holds a narrow lead over Bryce Harper for the final outfield spot. I don’t think either makes the team if they don’t win the voting. Upton got off to a torrid start, but has cooled WAY down since and is hitting below .250. Harper has just been activated after spening a month on the DL. Matt Holliday and McCutchen are within striking distance in the voting, and don’t count out Hunter Pence (in 7th in voting) if Giants fans get out the vote again.

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