Phillies updated top five 2018 All-Star Game candidates

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PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 11: Odubel Herrera #37 of the Philadelphia Phillies is congratulated by Rhys Hoskins #17 after hitting a home run against the New York Mets during the first inning of a game against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park on May 11, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 11: Odubel Herrera #37 of the Philadelphia Phillies is congratulated by Rhys Hoskins #17 after hitting a home run against the New York Mets during the first inning of a game against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park on May 11, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /
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MILWAUKEE, WI – JUNE 17: Aaron Nola #27 of the Philadelphia Phillies pitches in the second inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on June 17, 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Aaron Nola

Aaron Nola has been Philadelphia’s top All-Star candidate all season long and it’s not even close. In 15 starts this year, he has a 2.55 ERA, 3.62 strikeout-to-walk ratio, and 1.01 WHIP. He ranks third among NL pitchers in Fangraphs wins above replacement (2.7) and second in Baseball Reference WAR (4.2).

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Nola is nearly guaranteed a spot on the All-Star team this year. There is a good chance he could even start with the way he is pitching. The other two pitchers in the running with Nola are Washington’s Max Scherzer and New York’s Jacob deGrom. Scherzer ranks first in fWAR while deGrom ranks first in bWAR. Both obviously are more recognizable names than Nola and Scherzer may get the advantage because the game is being held in Washington.

What could also keep Nola from starting is that he is slated to start the last game of the first half if the team uses a Triple-A starter in the May 9 doubleheader against the Mets. Nola could still be allowed to pitch in the All-Star Game even if he starts that Sunday, but it’s not a guarantee.

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Who ultimately starts the game will boil down to who performs the best over the next few weeks. Even if Nola doesn’t get to start, he should still be a lock for the roster.

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