The Houston Astros have only had representation in the most recent All-Star games because the rules of the game forced every team to be represented. This year may finally be their ticket out of that cellar. The one problem that stands in the way is that the All-Star game continues to be a popularity contest and not based on merit.
As it stands, both Dallas Keuchel and Jose Altuve should be All-Stars, solely based on their performances this far into the year. Whether or not they’ll both suit up for the AL this year depends on the fans.
Altuve should be a shoo-in. He’s hitting .305 with a home run and 14 RBIs coming out of the leadoff spot. His 15 stolen bases are best among AL second basemen and his 14 doubles are second only to Dustin Pedroia. He’s got the most hits of any AL second baseman as well. Altuve is one of the few Astros players who is ‘popular’ enough to garner votes, but when he’s in the competition of Ian Kinsler and Pedroia, it may be a rough go getting him into the All-Star game based on votes.
Keuchel should be a shoo-in as well, as he has been nothing short of phenomenal. His 2.92 ERA is 13th in the league, while his 61.2 innings pitched is good for seventh. He may not strike out a ton of batters, but 55 on the year is a respectable number, not to mention he has the best GO/FO ratio in the league. In his last outing against the Los Angeles Angels, Keuchel got 16 ground outs to just two fly outs in 8.2 innings.
Keuchel and Altuve should definitely be All-Stars. Matt Dominguez is making a strong case, but being a third baseman, he is at an extreme disadvantage.