MLB All Star teams, but determined by fWAR

I’m not saying I don’t like fan voting, I’m just saying it allows undeserving players to play in the All Star Game. Fan voting is how we ended up with a .222-hitting Jason Varitek in 2008, or Cal Ripken starting over Alex Rodriguez and/or Troy Glaus in 2001.

If the game were to truly showcase the best players in baseball, fWAR is a slightly better way of doing things.

For those of you who hate, or don’t know about advanced metrics, fWAR (Wins Above Replacement) is a measurement used by FanGraphs to approximately how many wins a player is worth — seeing if team more or less likely to win with or without a specific player in a game.

I totally copy-pasted that from my article on Chris Davis. Hopefully nobody sues me for plagiarizing myself. That’s actually a thing. It happened to John Fogerty.

Anyway, here are the current starting lineups for the 2018 All Star Game.

National League

Position Player fWAR
1B Freddie Freeman 3.4
2B Ozzie Albies 2.9
3B Nolan Arenado 3.4
SS Brandon Crawford 2.8
OF Nick Markakis 2.3
OF Matt Kemp 1.7
OF Bryce Harper 1.3
C Buster Posey 1.7

American League

Position Player fWAR
1B José Abreu 0.6
2B Jose Altuve 3.7
3B Jose Ramírez 5.5
SS Manny Machado 2.9
OF Mookie Betts 5
OF Mike Trout 6.3
OF Aaron Judge 4.2
C Wilson Ramos 1.2
DH JD Martinez 3

Now here’s what the teams should look like.

National League

Position Player fWAR Difference
1B Freddie Freeman 3.4 0
2B Genett/Albies/Baez 2.9 0
3B Nolan Arenado 3.4 0
SS Trea Turner 2.9 0.1
OF Lorenzo Cain 3.4 1.1
OF Brandon Nimmo 2.5 0.8
OF Kyle Schwarber 2.4 1.4
C JT Realmuto 3.2 1.5

American League

Position Player fWAR Difference
1B Matt Olson 1.6 1
2B Jose Altuve 3.7 0
3B Jose Ramírez 5.5 0
SS Francisco Lindor 4.8 1.9
OF Mookie Betts 5 0
OF Mike Trout 6.3 0
OF Aaron Judge 4.2 0
C Max Stassi 1.3 0.1
DH JD Martinez 3 0

The American League is more accurate, as 6 of the 9 (nice) voted players also have the top fWAR at their positions. That’s actually not too terrible. The NL could use some work though. Six of those 9 (nice) do NOT lead their position in fWAR.

Honestly, I don’t see a need to change too much. I just thought this would be a fun comparison.

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