All-Star Game Starting Lineup vs. Total Runs All-Star Team

July 13, 2016

After the All-Star Game selections last week, let's see how the fans did in selecting the starting lineups by comparing the All-Star starters to the Total Runs leaders. Total Runs is a statistic created by Baseball Info Solutions that combines offense, pitching, defense, baserunning, and an adjustment that allows for comparison across positions into one number to recognize the total contribution of each player.

American League All-Stars
Pos All-Star Selection Total Runs Total Runs Leader Total Runs
C Salvador Perez, Royals 67 Salvador Perez, Royals 67
1B Eric Hosmer, Royals 57 Chris Davis, Orioles 71
2B Jose Altuve, Astros 92 Jose Altuve, Astros 92
SS Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox 79 Francisco Lindor, Indians 87
3B Manny Machado, Orioles 93 Josh Donaldson, Blue Jays 99
OF Mike Trout, Angels 94 Mike Trout, Angels 94
OF Mookie Betts, Red Sox 93 Mookie Betts, Red Sox 93
OF Jackie Bradley Jr., Red Sox 83 Ian Desmond, Rangers 89
DH David Ortiz, Red Sox 71 David Ortiz, Red Sox 71


The fans were close in their selection of the American League starting lineup. There are only four players in the starting lineup that are not Total Runs leaders. Josh Donaldson is a victim of a strange circumstance. He leads all players in baseball with 99 Total Runs, but Manny Machado is third with 93 and was eligible at third base and not shortstop on the AL ballot. In a perfect world, Donaldson would start at third base and Machado would start at shortstop, where he has a significant edge in Total Runs over both starter Xander Bogaerts (79) and Total Runs leader Francisco Lindor (87). Instead, Donaldson will have to come off of the bench. Another significant difference is the selection at first base. Chris Davis has 14 more Total Runs than the All-Star selection Eric Hosmer.

National League All-Stars
Pos All-Star Selection Total Runs Total Runs Leader Total Runs
C Buster Posey, Giants 74 Buster Posey, Giants 74
1B Anthony Rizzo, Cubs 85 Anthony Rizzo, Cubs 85
2B Ben Zobrist, Cubs 71 Daniel Murphy, Nationals 83
SS Addison Russell, Cubs 63 Brandon Crawford, Giants 85
3B Kris Bryant, Cubs 92 Kris Bryant, Cubs 92
OF Bryce Harper, Nationals 69 Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies 83
OF Yoenis Cespedes, Mets 63 Charlie Blackmon, Rockies 73
OF Dexter Fowler, Cubs 60 Marcell Ozuna, Marlins 71


A hot topic of the All-Star selections this year was the all-Cubs infield. We can see that Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant lead Total Runs at their respective positions. Ben Zobrist trails Daniel Murphy by 12 runs, but the biggest discrepancy is in the selection of shortstop. Addison Russell has 22 fewer Total Runs than Brandon Crawford. We can see that there are at least three outfielders who have more Total Runs than Bryce Harper, who has the most Total Runs among the selected All-Star outfielders. Carlos Gonzalez leads Dexter Fowler, who has the fewest Total Runs among selected outfielders, by 23 Total Runs.


COMMENTS (7 Comments, most recent shown first)

It is a mix, that's right. For example, I'm a Red Sox fan and I love Dustin Pedroia, but there's no way I wasn't going to vote for Jose Altuve. On the other hand, Jackie Bradley Jr is so much fun to watch and such a great story that how could I NOT vote for him?
1:05 PM Jul 15th
Re MWeddell's comment: I didn't think the article assumes it, although some of the wording does suggest it. I thought it was more like that the article is doing a 'curiosity' thing, seeing how this year's "Total Runs" leaders compare with who got picked.

MWeddell actually understates the reality. There's no 'maybe' about it; not only can we get a hint of it from this year's voting, but we also know absolutely 100% for sure from the historic voting that to some extent it reflects not just prior year performance but also entire careers (not to mention some hometown ballot stuffing). It's an interesting mix of these things. Some people feel it should only reflect the current year, but it doesn't.

I agree with the view in the article and in the comments that the overlap between the picks and the Total Runs leaders is noteworthy and a bit surprising. I'd guess that it's a much higher overlap than usual.
1:50 AM Jul 15th
The article seems to assume that using year-to-date Total Runs to select all-star position player starters would have been ideal. However, many voters might reason that prior year performance (e.g. Bryce Harper won the 2015 NL MVP award) shouldn't be completely dismissed.
2:52 PM Jul 14th
Addison Russell's inclusion prevents me from saying the fans did "pretty well", sorry. He's garbage.

I know it's mostly harmless, but can't the masses be better than blindly voting homer picks? It's embarrassing.
12:20 AM Jul 14th
I too am surprised at how realively close to the Total Runs. However....what does it say that 50% of the starters are either Royals or Red Sox? I get champs and the best 2016 offense....but 50%?

It is sort of like picking best US Senator on a national vote with some markets making a tremendous effort....
9:40 PM Jul 13th
Josh Donaldson's haircut cost him a few votes.
3:58 PM Jul 13th
Based on what you present, I think the voting fans did pretty well.
11:44 AM Jul 13th
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