Shota Imanaga poised for All-Star selection after latest gem for Chicago Cubs

There's been no simply stopping Shota Imanaga this season
St. Louis Cardinals v Chicago Cubs
St. Louis Cardinals v Chicago Cubs / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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One of the main things that has gone consistently right this season is that Shota Imanaga has been an absolutely brilliant addition to the Chicago Cubs' starting rotation. After another gem against the NL-Best Philadephia Phillies, Imanaga's ERA is just 3.16. With another quality start under his belt, he has become a lock to get selected for the All-Star Game in some facet this year.

Nobody on the team will be more deserving than Imanaga, who has been the team's anchor. Simply put, he's been the best player on the team this year, and it's not even close. Without him, the Cubs are likely not near contention, as his numbers are some of the best in baseball.

With all the offseason hype surrounding Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Imanaga was an afterthought living in Yamamoto's shadow. Fangraphs' ZiPS projected him for a mere 1.7 WAR when he already recorded a 2.2 before the season's halfway point. Baseball Savant lists his fastball in the 93rd percentile with an RV of 9, which is incredible.

Shota Imanaga continues to be a bright spot for the Cubs.

Jed Hoyer deserves all the credit in the world here. The contract Imanaga is on for the production the Cubs are getting makes him one of the best free-agent deals in recent memory. Not to digress, but striking gold in free agency with Imanaga at least gives the Cubs a fighting chance this season.

Even if he regresses to league-average in the second half, he will wind up with an above-average season as a rookie. For now, expect his name to be called for a trip to Arlington, where the MLB All-Star Game is being held in a few short weeks.

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