As time runs out on All-Star voting, Jose Abreu and Willson Contreras close in on starting spots

CHICAGO – The fun of the fan voting in Major League Baseball is watching the totals change as the voting deadline nears.

That’s been a good thing for those rooting for a few Chicago players who are closing in on starting spots in the All-Star Game and another making a late charge as the 11:59 PM deadline Thursday night approaches.

White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu has gotten a run from Yuli Gurriel of the Astros in the final few days of voting, but things are still looking good for him as the voting gets ready to conclude. As of Thursday morning, he currently holds a 213,646 vote lead over his competitor from Houston, which is slightly down from the voting totals that were released on Tuesday. Still the odds favor Abreu to start his first All-Star Game and become the first White Sox players voted in by fans since Frank Thomas in 1996.

Meanwhile Cubs catcher Willson Contreras made up 144,505 votes since Tuesday and has vaulted himself into the lead to be a starter for the National League. Yet he holds just an 8,218 vote advantage over the Giants’ Buster Posey as the deadline approaches, having to hold off a late charge for his first All-Star Game appearance.

Teammate Javier Baez doesn’t have the lead at second base, but his recent strong play has him charging quickly at the Braves’ Ozzie Albies, who has led the voting most of the month of June. Baez trails him by 111,770 votes heading into the final hours of voting, jumping the Reds’ Scooter Gennett since last Tuesday and making up around 160,000 votes in two days.

Was it enough for all of these Chicago players to make the All-Star Game? They’ll find out soon enough as the voting comes to an end late Thursday night.