Twelve MLB players who deserve your All-Star vote right now

The All-Star Game rosters are almost set. Voting is down to the wire, and has entered the home stretch. Major League Baseball released its final balloting update Monday, and some races can still be decided before things are finalized.

Fans have until 11:59 p.m. ET on Thursday to submit their votes on MLB.com. You are allowed to vote up to five times per day for the players you think are most deserving of an All-Star nod. Rosters will be revealed Sunday at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.

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If you’re having trouble trying to figure out who deserves your vote in the final days, don’t worry. We here at The Stew have you covered. Our experts each picked three players who they think deserves your vote as voting comes to a close. They’ll each make a brief case for each player.

After that, it’s up to you get out and stuff the ballot box … er … server.

Joey Votto has once again been one of the best players in baseball. (AP Photo)

JOEY VOTTO, NL FIRST BASEMAN, CINCINNATI REDS
Does anyone appreciate Joey Votto? The 33-year-old is off to yet another fantastic season, but his success isn’t reflected in the All-Star voting. Votto ranks fifth at first base in the NL. One of the players ahead of him, Freddie Freeman, is currently injured.

Votto gets no respect. By fWAR, he’s been the second-best first baseman in the NL this year, just behind Paul Goldschmidt. Votto is hitting an excellent .301/.412/.584, with 20 home runs, over 325 plate appearances. He somehow hasn’t made the All-Star team since 2013. We’re honestly not sure how. He finished third and seventh in MVP voting the past seasons and still couldn’t get voted in. He’s more than deserving. (Chris Cwik)

MATT KEMP, NL OUTFIELDER, ATLANTA BRAVES
The Matt Kemp of the days of yore is making a return appearance. He’s batting .315/.356/.538 with 12 homers for the Braves, and he looks a lot like the Matt Kemp we used to know, albeit a few years older. If this were four or five years ago, he might be one of the top vote-getters. But Kemp is 32 and there are younger and more exciting players out there. But a player having a resurgence like this deserves more votes, even just for nostalgia’s sake. (Liz Roscher)

YONDER ALONSO, AL FIRST BASEMAN, OAKLAND ATHLETICS
First base is deep with potential All-Stars in both leagues, so this isn’t a dig on any of the other worthwhile candidates, but dang, Yonder Alonso deserves some more love. Alonso worked hard in the offseason to change up his approach at the plate and now he’s the hitting .288/.383/.580 with 17 homers, finally having his breakout season at age 30. The two guys ahead of Alonso on the ballot are worthwhile too — Eric Hosmer and Justin Smoak — but Alonso’s breakout season is a great story that needs more attention. (Mike Oz)

Paul Goldschmidt is a big reason the D-Backs have exceeded expectations. (AP Photo)

PAUL GOLDSCHMIDT, NL FIRST BASEMAN, ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS
It’s borderline criminal that Goldschmidt has 400k fewer votes than Anthony Rizzo. Goldy has outpaced Rizzo in every way this season, and he’s the cornerstone of a surprisingly resurgent Diamondbacks team. He leads his team in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, home runs, RBI, and stolen bases. And he leads Rizzo in all of those categories, too. It’s tough to beat that post-World Series glow, but Goldschmidt definitely deserves more than he’s getting. (Roscher)

JONATHAN SCHOOP, AL SECOND BASEMAN, BALTIMORE ORIOLES
You know second base is deep in the American League when Schoop and Robinson Cano can’t even crack the top five in voting. In my opinion both still deserve more respect than that.

That’s especially true of Schoop, who came into the week leading the position in home runs. After hitting 25 dingers last season, he’s on pace for 30 this season. His batting average (.295), OBP (.352) and OPS (.897) are all well up this season too, indicating that he’s quickly and quietly developing into one of the better all-around hitters in the game. It would be shame if he’s not in Miami. (Mark Townsend)

MICHAEL CONFORTO, NL OUTFIELDER, NEW YORK METS
It’s a bit of All-Star ridiculousness that Kyle Schwarber is eighth among NL outfielders and young New York Mets star Michael Conforto isn’t even among the top 15. But it’s not surprising. There’s actually a perfectly logical explanation: He’s not on the ballot. If you want to see Conforto in the All-Star game, you have to write him in. He’s deserving. He ranks as the fifth-best NL outfielder, according to fWAR, and has been far more effective than teammate Yoenis Cespedes, who has been injured this season but still ranks ninth among NL outfielders in voting. (Oz)

Cody Bellinger has provided one of the best stories of the season. (AP Photo)

CODY BELLINGER, NL OUTFIELDER, LOS ANGELES DODGERS
Cody Bellinger and Michael Conforto should start a support group, because Bellinger suffers from the same All-Star ailment that Conforto does. Bellinger, one of the breakout rookies of 2017 and certainly deserving of an All-Star nod, isn’t on the ballot. You’d have to write him in at either first base or in the outfield. It makes sense somewhat, because Bellinger didn’t debut until April 25. Since then, though, he’s played 59 games (that’s more than shortstop leader Zack Cozart) and amassed 2.5 WAR, per Fangraphs, good enough for 12th in the entire NL. Bellinger, like Conforto, should make the team by either players’ or manager selection. Casting a vote for Bellinger might be wasting one — unless you want to do the right thing and honor one of the best players of the first half. (Oz)

ANTHONY RENDON, NL THIRD BASEMAN, WASHINGTON NATIONALS
It won’t happen, but it absolutely should. Rendon has been better than both players ahead of him this season. Every part of Rendon’s slash line matches Kris Bryant’s numbers. And while Nolan Arenado has a slight lead in batting average and slugging percentage, Rendon’s on-base percentage is roughly 50 points higher. Bryant and Arenado are well-known superstars, and Bryant has a legion of Cubs fans behind him, so Rendon will likely have to make it as a bench bat. He deserves more this year. (Cwik)

ENDER INCIARTE, NL OUTFIELDER, BRAVES
The forgotten man in the Shelby Miller/Dansby Swanson trade, Inciarte has done a little bit of everything for the Braves this season. His 99 hits and .320 average are among the league’s best. He provides some pop with six homers and speed with 10 steals, and he’s playing some terrific defense with his eight defensive runs scored ranking third among NL outfielders.

That Kyle Schwarber is No. 8 in the outfield voting and Inciarte can’t even crack the top 15 makes you wonder if anyone’s pay attention to anything at SunTrust Park other than the Beat The Freeze races. Inciarte should definitely be the Braves lone selection this year, but beyond that he deserves far more attention and respect than he’s receiving. (Townsend)

Aaron Altherr isn’t even listed on the All-Star ballot. (AP Photo)

AARON ALTHERR, NL OUTFIELDER, PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
It’s not hard to understand why Altherr isn’t getting many votes. He’s a write-in candidate, and the Phillies are mired in a putrid season that has them on pace for 110 losses. But Altherr is one of the lone offensive bright spots. He’s got the highest triple slash of any of their regular, non-injured player by FAR (.284/.355/.530). He’s got the most home runs (13). He’s literally the Phillies’ only position player who could even be momentarily considered as worthy of the All-Star Game. That doesn’t mean he’s actually worthy of the All-Star Game, but he at least deserves a little more love then he’s getting. (Roscher)

COREY DICKERSON, AL DESIGNATED HITTER, TAMPA BAY RAYS
Look, I’m just as surprised as everyone else. After a tough first season in Tampa Bay, Dickerson proved he can mash outside of Colorado. The 28-year-old has been exceptional, hitting .330/.371/.587, with 17 home runs, over 322 plate appearances thus far. Nelson Cruz holds a slight lead in on-base percentage, but Dickerson has him beat in every other category. He may not be a big name or play for a big market team, but Dickerson needs to make the AL All-Star team. (Cwik)

MARK REYNOLDS, NL FIRST BASEMAN, COLORADO ROCKIES
Unfortunately, Reynolds never had a chance after being left off the All-Star ballot completely. The veteran first baseman was signed to a minor-league deal this winter merely as insurance after the Rockies also signed Ian Desmond to a five-year, $70M deal. Then Desmond went down with an injury in spring training, opening the door for Reynolds to reemerge as a dangerous slugger.

Though he’s cooled off some in June, Reynolds is still hitting a few ticks under .300 and could have 20 homers by the All-Star break. Yes, I fully realize there are bigger names and bigger numbers elsewhere at this loaded position, but he’s a big reason the Rockies are playing their best baseball in nearly a decade. Reynolds deserved better than a write-in campaign can offer, but here’s hoping he’ll get serious All-Star consideration. (Townsend)

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