Dodgers' Bellinger tops Baseball All-Star voting update

Cody Bellinger No. 35 of the Los Angeles Dodgers looks on from the dugout bench after hitting a solo home run in the sixth inning of the MLB game against the Chicago Cubs at Dodger Stadium on Sunday in Los Angeles, California. The Dodgers defeated the Cubs 3-2. — AFP

NEW YORK — Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger, the top hitter in Major League Baseball, leads vote-getters in the latest All-Star Game balloting update released Monday.

Bellinger, batting .355 with 23 home runs and 58 runs batted in over 69 games, has 2,184,251 votes to 2,065,382 for Milwaukee's Christian Yelich, second overall and just behind Bellinger in National League outfield voting.

The top three vote-getters at each position, or top nine among three outfield slots, when voting ends Friday advance to the second round of voting to determine starters for the 90th Major League Baseball All-Star Game, to be played July 9 in Cleveland.

The second round takes place over 28 hours starting on June 26.

Bellinger, who has the Dodgers atop the National League at 48-24, and Yelich, who has the Brewers atop the NL Central division, are joined atop the NL outfield voting by Ronald Acuna of the NL East division-leading Atlanta Braves.

Philadelphia's Bryce Harper, whose off-season move from Washington attracted maximum attention, ranks 10th with 498,100 votes, just outside the spot he needs to advance, trailing ninth-place Charlie Blackmon of Colorado by 32,242 votes — the tightest fight for any spot into the second round.

The American League's outfielder vote leaders include Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout on 1,904,273 and Houston's George Springer and Michael Brantley.

Angels slugger Shohei Ohtani of Japan ranks fourth in the American League designated hitter race, just outside advancement behind leader J.D. Martinez of Boston, Hunter Pence of Texas and Minnesota's Nelson Cruz. Ohtani must 43,264 in the final days to have a chance to start in the mid-season classic.

Other top vote-getters among American League fielders include New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez, his teammate Luke Voit at first base, Angels second baseman Tommy La Shella, Houston third baseman Alex Bregman and Minnesota shortstop Jorge Polanco.

Other top vote-getters among National League fielders include catcher Wilson Contreras of the Chicago Cubs, first baseman Josh Bell of Pittsburgh, second baseman Ozzie Albies of Atlanta, third baseman Nolan Arenado of Colorado and shortstop Javier Baez of the Cubs. — AFP