Astros have 5 players selected for All-Star game

Jose Altuve voted as starter at second base

(Getty Images)

HOUSTON – As expected, the defending World Series champion Houston Astros, who have the second-best record in baseball, will have a large group of All-Stars.

On Sunday, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Gerrit Cole, George Springer and Justin Verlander were named All-Stars for the upcoming major league baseball all-star game set to be played, July 17 in Washington, D.C.

Altuve was voted in as a starter by the fans. He is the first Astros player to be the overall leader in fan voting, he amassed 4,849,630 votes.

It's the sixth selection for Altuve who leads the majors in hits with 122 and is hitting .338. Springer is an all-star for the second straight season. He got off to a strong start in 2018 but has hit just .190 since the start of June.

For Verlander, it's his 7th All-Star selection, though he is slated to start the Astros game on Sunday, July 15 against his former Detroit team just two days before the all-star game and because of that, would be unavailable to pitch in the midsummer classic.

Verlander leads the league in WHIP (0.84) and is third in ERA at 2.15.

Cole, who was acquired from the Pirates before the season, was selected for the second time in his career. Cole ranks in the top ten in the AL in wins (9),  ERA (2.70) and WHIP (0.97) and is second in the AL in strikeouts with 158.

Bregman is the reigning American League player of the month and has been on an offensive tear for weeks. He leads the team in slugging percentage (.519) and OPS (.903) and is second in HR (17) and RBI (57).

It's the first all-star selection for the 24-year old third baseman, who was the number two overall selection in the 2015 draft by the Astros.

VIDEO: George Springer speaks on All-Star selection

Astros manager A.J. Hinch will manage the American League team along with his entire coaching staff, including last year's first base coach, Rich Dauer, who retired from coaching this offseason after suffering an acute subdural hematoma just after the team's World Series victory parade in downtown Houston.