Don't mind the fact that the Atlanta Braves have a comfortable lead in the National League East. Sure, they're streaky, but the only Braves player who is on the NL roster for this month's All-Star Game at Citi Field is closer Craig Kimbrel. Freddie Freeman is among the five candidates for the Final Vote.
Kimbrel enters Saturday with 23 saves and a 1.72 ERA in 31 1/3 innings. He has struck out 46 batters and has at least 42 saves in each of his first two full seasons. This is his third All-Star selection.
Other than Kimbrel, the first place Braves have exactly no locked in sports on the NL All-Star team – not Mike Minor (8-4, 3.15 ERA), not Justin Upton.
Granted, Upton has drastically cooled since his monster April, even down to a .248 average, but he was beaten in the vote by Bryce Harper, who has only played 49 games this season and spent a month on the disabled list.
Freeeman is competing in the Final Vote against rookie phenom Yasiel Puig (Los Angeles Dodgers), who is being considered for his first All-Star Game despite only playing in the big leagues for a month and a half. He's also competing against Adrian Gonzalez (Dodgers), Hunter Pence (San Francisco Giants) and Ian Desmond (Washington Nationals).
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