Third baseman Manny Machado

All-Star Status: Lock

Why: The list of players above Machado in FanGraphs’ wins above replacement (WAR) rankings should say enough about why he has earned a trip to Cincinnati in two weeks: Bryce Harper, Jason Kipnis, Todd Frazier, Josh Donaldson, Paul Goldschmidt, Mike Trout, and Giancarlo Stanton. He’s a power/speed threat at the top of the Orioles lineup (15 home runs, 17 doubles, and 11 steals) and basically leads the team’s qualifiers in pretty much everything with a .305/.362/.524 line.

Why not: There is no reason, on this planet or any other, that an assembly of baseball players calling themselves the game’s best can gather without Machado being invited. So I suppose the reason why not is because the All-Star Game is ridiculous, bloated, and has no real value, even though it “counts."

Tom Szczerbowski / Getty Images
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