Astros pitcher among the biggest snubs from the 2024 All-Star Game

Ronel Blanco should have been an All-Star.
Houston Astros pitcher Ronel Blanco
Houston Astros pitcher Ronel Blanco / Tim Warner/GettyImages

At about this time every year, fans from every single fandom throughout Major League Baseball take to social media and lay out the case for a player or two from their favorite team who was left off the All-Star roster.

Given the Houston Astros' slow start to the 2024 season, it's tough to complain when three players from the organization will be part of this year's American League roster. Outfielder Kyle Tucker, second baseman Jose Altuve, and designated hitter Yordan Álvarez will represent the Astros in the Midsummer Classic next week, and each one feels like a natural fit.

But it feels as if one Astros player was left out of the mix. Starting pitcher Ronel Blanco, who's been arguably Houston's MVP in 2024, will not be part of the All-Star festivities in Arlington. While Blanco's absence may be due to MLB's silly regulation that requires at least one player from each team to have a participant in the All-Star Game, Blanco was definitely worth of inclusion on the AL roster.

Astros pitcher Ronel Blanco among the biggest snubs from the 2024 All-Star Game

Some of the advanced metrics don't work in Blanco's favor. The right-hander has a 10.2% walk rate, only strikes out about 23% of the batters he faces, and his 4.35 FIP is nearly double his ERA.

But the traditional numbers speak for themselves. Blanco owns an incredible 2.53 ERA, which is better than Tanner Houck, Zack Wheeler, Chris Sale, Tyler Anderson, Logan Gilbert, and Garrett Crochet — all of whom were named to the All-Star Game.

Blanco is also 8-3 in 16 starts this season, and while a pitcher's win-loss record is not always indicative of his success, Houston is 12-4 in games when he steps onto the mound.

But the All-Star Game is oftentimes about name recognition and entertainment value more so that actual merit. Let's face it, Astros fans, if Justin Verlander was putting up the numbers that Blanco has this season, Houston would have four players on the field next Tuesday night at Globe Life Field.

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