Harper in line to start; Murphy, Ramos need votes

Harper in line to start; Murphy, Ramos need votes

CHICAGO -- In the latest round of National League voting released Wednesday for the 2016 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot, Bryce Harper has lost his lead in the outfield, sliding to second place behind Cubs outfielder Dexter Fowler. Harper (1,119,168) is still the only Nationals player in position to start, but he has been overtaken by Fowler (1,170,718).

Second baseman Daniel Murphy fell further behind Cubs second baseman Ben Zobrist on the ballot. Zobrist's lead increased from 244,051 votes to 388,883, despite the fact that Murphy leads the Majors in batting average (.379) and multihit games (27), and ranks second in hits (81) and OPS (1.032).

And there might not be a more deserving catcher than Wilson Ramos, who is hitting .348/.392/.561 and leads all Major League catchers in batting average and wRC+ (156). Ramos improved to fourth on the All-Star ballot after being fifth last week. He faces an uphill battle to get elected as the starter, however, considering Yadier Molina and Buster Posey have combined to win each of the past four fan elections -- and six of the past seven -- to be the NL's starting catcher.

Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- on their computers, tablets and smartphones -- exclusively online using the 2016 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot until Thursday, June 30, at 11:59 p.m. ET. Vote up to five times in any 24-hour period for a maximum of 35 times.

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.

Following the announcement of the 2016 All-Stars, be sure to return to MLB.com and cast your 2016 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote for the final player on each league's All-Star roster. On Tuesday, July 12, watch the 2016 All-Star Game presented by MasterCard 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 2016 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote.

The 87th All-Star Game, in San Diego, will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 160 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB.com, MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.

Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.