MLB All-Star Game: Several St. Louis Cardinals are deserving

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Apr 28, 2015; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Matt Carpenter (13) hits a triple off of Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Severino Gonzalez (not pictured) during the first inning at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The Near Lock-Ins

While the current All-Star leaders are far from guaranteed spots, the fact that Matt Carpenter, Jhonny Peralta and Matt Holliday still rank among the National League’s top vote receivers is an encouraging sign given that online voting ends next Thursday.

The cushion of being selected as a starter not only increases the chance for all three to make returning appearances, but shows that baseball fans recognize their contributions and positional value in the game of baseball.

Carpenter established himself into one of this season’s quickest starts at the hot corner by picking up Player of the Week Honors in April, while Peralta has earned respect through nonchalant efforts including integral roles in two May walk-off wins and a team-leading .305 batting average among qualifiers.

Six-time All-Star Matt Holliday has revived himself offensively by reaching base in his first 45 games of the season, but a hamstring injury suffered in early June may hurt his chances to be selected as a starter and represent the National League.

Next: The toss-ups