NL Catcher: J.R. Realmuto, Marlins
Part of me really wants to put in Willson Contreras, but Realmuto deserves this 100%. He's been good at the plate and behind the plate.
NL 1st Base: Freddie Freeman, Braves
This one is easy. Freeman is batting .318 with 15 HR. He's looking like an MVP candidate this year.
NL 2nd Base: Javier Baez, Cubs
This is a close one. I almost had Scooter Gennett here, and Ozzie Albies looks good, too. But Javy is an RBI machine and his glove is magical. He's also a better baserunner than the other two, so I'll fit my Cub in here.
NL 3rd Base: Nolan Arenado, Rockies
He hits. He fields. He's a great 3rd baseman. Arenado and Kris Bryant will be battling out this position for years to come.
NL Shortstop: Brandon Crawford, Giants
I've always known Crawford for having a pretty slick glove. This year he is hitting well, too. I think he's playing the best shortstop in the National League right now.
NL Outfield: Matt Kemp, Dodgers
The NL outfield is insane. I don't think that I would ever have predicted the three starters that I have going in here. Kemp is having a career renaissance (or at least a late-career high point) this year. He's batting above .300 and showing a little pop with 13 HR.
NL Outfield: Nick Markakis, Braves
Markakis the most surprising of the three names here. Like Kemp, he's having a great season in a career that looked like it had peaked long ago. Now he's batting .326 and has driven in 50 runs.
NL Outfield: Albert Almora, Cubs
There are a number of guys with very similar numbers who could all fit in this spot--right around .300 and double digit homers. I originally went with Odubel Herrera on this one, but I settled on Almora, who may be better in the field. He has less power than the other guys I considered, but a significantly higher average. The clincher was Almora's OPS+, which is just slightly higher than Herrera.
So there you have it: my 2018 All-Star Ballot. Going by the strength of the starters, I think that the AL has the edge. We'll have to see which pitchers are chosen. Maybe it will help balance the teams a bit. Who would you have in the NL starting lineup?