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Cardinals' Nolan Arenado, Ryan Helsley named to NL All-Star team

It's the seventh career all-star appearance for Arenado and the first for Helsley.
Credit: AP

ST. LOUIS — Third basemen Nolan Arenado and relief pitcher Ryan Helsley will join their Cardinals teammates Albert Pujols and Paul Goldschmidt on the National League All-Star team.

It's the seventh career all-star appearance for Arenado and the first for Helsley. The midsummer classic is set to be played on July 19 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. 

Arenado got off to a hot start this season, winning player of the month in April. After cooling off in May and early June, he's been hitting .361 since June 21 and playing Gold-Glove-caliber defense all season long. 

Helsley has been one of the best relief pitchers in baseball since the start of the season. He picked up his seventh save on Sunday and lowered his season ERA to 0.73. He didn't allow an earned run until his 15th appearance of the season and has only allowed 3 earned runs and 13 hits all season long.

Goldschmidt was elected the starter at first base for the National League, and Albert Pujols was chosen for the team in one of MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred's "legends" selections. Both were announced as all-stars on Friday.

Season statistics did not factor into the addition of Pujols to the NL roster, with the all-time great slugger hitting just .215 with a .672 OPS on the season. He is still chasing 700 career home runs, and currently sits 16 away from the milestone after hitting his fifth of the season on Sunday.

Among those snubbed from the all-star roster were Tommy Edman, Miles Mikolas and Adam Wainwright.

Edman has played all over the diamond and has produced well at the plate. He's second in the National League in stolen bases and fourth in runs scored. His defensive skill and versatility resulted in him ranking fourth in the National League in Wins Above Replacement, an all-encompassing stat that includes hitting, defense and baserunning for position players. Goldschmidt, Arenado and former Cardinals prospect Sandy Alcantara are the only players with a higher WAR.

Mikolas is putting together a career-best season, including falling one out short of a no-hitter in June. He's fifth in the NL in innings pitched and eighth in ERA.

Wainwright is sixth in the NL in innings pitched and 13th in ERA.

Some of the players left off the all-star team still have a chance. They can be chosen as replacements if a player on the team gets injured or can't play for some other reason.

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