There is still a week left on the schedule before the All-Star break, but the rosters for both side were revealed on Sunday. Unsurprisingly, the Red Sox will be well-represented down in Washington, D.C., what with them having the best record in baseball and everything. Boston is going to have two players in the starting lineup (the only team with multiple starters) as well as three on the bench. Those players will be Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez, Chris Sale, Craig Kimbrel and Mitch Moreland.
Betts and Martinez were the obvious All Stars and they’ve both been dominating the fan vote since it started. Sometimes, fan votes can do a poor job of representing what’s actually happened on the field that year, but with Betts and Martinez that is not the case. These have been the two juggernauts carrying Boston’s lineup all year long and are the best 1-2 punch in baseball right now.
Mookie Betts has been straight-up otherworldly so far this year, hitting .342/.432/.673 for a 195 wRC+ along with his typical great defense and baserunning. For those into WAR, Betts has been worth more fWAR already this season than he was in 2017 when he finished sixth in the AL MVP voting. He should finish higher this time around. This is Betts’ third All Star selection.
Martinez, meanwhile, will be the starting DH for the American League squad in the nation’s capital and it couldn’t be more deserving. We all knew that Boston was getting a special hitter when they signed Martinez late in the winter, but he’s somehow exceeded expectations in the first half of the season. The slugger is more than just a slugger, though the power certainly rules his profile and his 27 homers and 74 RBI lead all of baseball. He’s been fantastic all around, though, slashing .329/.392/.646 for a 177 wRC+. Martinez is a legitimate Triple Crown threat. Somehow, this is only his second All-Star selection.
On the mound, Sale is going to be the lone Red Sox pitcher to make the team, and there’s a chance he’ll start it. He’ll have a bunch of competition to start the game from guys like Luis Severino, Justin Verlander and Trevor Bauer, but Sale was a no brainer to at least make the team. The lefty has made 19 starts this season and has a 2.36 ERA (185 ERA+) along with a league-leading 13 strikeouts per nine innings with just over two walks per nine. He’s only just heating up over the last month or so, too, which should terrify the rest of the league. This will be Sale’s seventh All-Star selection, all of which have come consecutively.
Kimbrel isn’t so much of a surprise since he’s, ya know, one of the best relievers of all time and on track to eventually make it into the Hall of Fame. There was some question of whether or not he’d make it, though, given just how many great relievers there are in the game right now. He did, and he deserved it. Kimbrel has 27 saves already with a 1.98 ERA and 13.4 strikeouts per nine innings. This is his seventh All-Star selection.
Among all of the Red Sox All Stars, Moreland is the biggest surprise. There was some consternation (from me, admittedly) when the team brought him back on a two-year deal last winter, but clearly that has been a smart move. The first baseman doesn’t have as much playing time this year as most of the other All Stars on either squad, but his impact on his team’s lineup has been just as large. Moreland has been a force all year long and he’s hitting .288/.358/.525 for a 137 wRC+. This is Moreland’s first All-Star selection.
In terms of busts, the Red Sox have two big ones. Andrew Benintendi is the most glaring in my eyes as he has been on another level all season. There was a bit of a slump early on but for the most part he has been a massive part of this Red Sox lineup. After another great day on Sunday the outfielder is hitting .293/.379/.515 for a 141 wRC+. Xander Bogaerts is the other snub, and he is hitting .281/.355/.520 for a 133 wRC+. Given how loaded the American League shortstop class is, this one is more understandable than Benintendi’s absence.
The good news is that both can still make the roster via injury replacement. Benintendi has another path as well, via the Final Vote. Over the next week, fans will be able to vote for the final player to make each league’s roster. Benintendi is one of the five in the American League vote, along with Eddie Rosario, Jean Segura, Andrelton Simmons and Giancarlo Stanton. Vote for Benny.