Voting for the Major League Baseball All-Star game opened on Wednesday.
While fans can begin casting their ballots for baseball’s Midsummer Classic, their ballots do not include the pitcher position. The manager of each league chooses pitchers, and the availability of pitchers in the game is largely subject to when they most recently pitched for their franchise.
No matter what his availability is when the All-Star Break arrives, Alek Manoah should be near the top of the list for American League skipper Dusty Baker.
Manoah tossed his MLB-leading 10th quality start Tuesday in a shutout on the road at Kansas City. It moved his record to 7-1, lowered his ERA to 1.81, and marked the ninth time in his 11 starts that he pitched at least six innings and allowed two or fewer earned runs.
That’s just the start of what is a great case for Manoah not only to be an All-Star but potentially be the American League starting pitcher.
Following his start on Tuesday, Manoah is one of just five starting pitchers in all of Major League Baseball with an ERA under 2.00. His 1.81 earned run average is tied for the fourth-best in all of the MLB and is the third-best in the American League.
Manoah is joined by future Hall of Famer Justin Verlander as the only pitcher in the AL with at least seven wins, but he also has fewer losses than Verlander.
Among qualified starters, Manoah is also tied for sixth in the AL in WHIP (0.96).
The big right-hander has also done this against some of the top hitting teams in baseball.
Three of Manoah’s starts this year have come against the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, both of which rank in the top five in baseball in OPS. Here is his combined stat line in those three starts:
19.0 IP, 7 H, 1 R (1 ER), 6 BB, 21 K. Overall Record: 2-0
That’s pretty good, to say the least.
Five of his starts have also come against teams that rank in the bottom 10 of the league in OPS. Here is Manoah’s average stat line in those starts:
6 2/3 IP, 5.6 H, 1.8 R, 1.2 BB, 4.6 K. Overall Record: 4-1
Again, good, to say the least.
Not only is Manoah performing at his best against the stiffest competition, but he’s also taking care of business against the clubs that he and the Blue Jays should be beating.
For those looking for advanced statistics, Manoah is tied for seventh in the AL in WAR (1.6), according to FanGraphs. His BABIP (batting average on balls in play) currently sits at .258, which is tied for eighth in the American League. Manoah’s FIP (fielding independent pitching) also sits at 3.05, which is not only much better than league average, but is also eighth in the AL.
No matter which way you slice it, Manoah has been one of the best pitchers in all of baseball this season.
The 92nd Midsummer Classic will be held at Dodgers Stadium on Tuesday, July 19. Voting for the teams ends on June 30, and starters will be announced July 8.