Freeman aims to win starting nod for All-Star Game

Freeman aims to win starting nod for All-Star Game

ATLANTA -- Freddie Freeman has gained an All-Star selection both of the past two seasons, but he has yet to experience the honor of being voted by the fans to serve as the National League's starting first baseman.

Freeman will have another opportunity this year as he and shortstop Andrelton Simmons headline the cast of Braves on this year's All-Star ballot, which was released on Wednesday.

Freeman's primary competition at the first-base position will come from Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt, Los Angeles' Adrian Gonzalez and Chicago's Anthony Rizzo. Simmons' defensive prowess could help him as he joins Colorado's Troy Tulowitzki and St. Louis' Jhonny Peralta among the most attractive shortstop candidates on the NL ballot.

Braves right fielder Nick Markakis might also draw a respectable percentage of the votes as he finds himself on the NL ballot for the first time in his career.

Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- on their computers, tablets and smartphones -- using the 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot until Thursday, July 2, at 11:59 p.m. ET. For the first time, voting is exclusively online, where fans may submit up to 35 ballots.

Fans may also receive the ballot by texting VOTE to 89269 (USA) or 101010 (Canada). Or text VOTA for a ballot in Spanish. Message and data rates may apply. Up to five messages. No purchase required. Reply STOP to cancel. Reply HELP for info.

The Braves' other representatives on this year's ballot are A.J. Pierzynski (catcher), Jace Peterson (second base), Chris Johnson (third base), Jonny Gomes (outfield) and Eric Young Jr. (outfield).

Following the announcement of the 2015 All-Stars, be sure to return to MLB.com and cast your 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote for the final player for each league's All-Star roster. On Tuesday, July 14, watch the 2015 All-Star Game live on FOX, and during the game visit MLB.com to submit your choice for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet via the 2015 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote.

MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of All-Star Week festivities.

The 86th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.