It has been the season that all New York Yankee fans have been waiting for since their right fielder, Aaron Judge, joined the team in 2016. The Yankees are in the American League (AL) with a record of 61-25 and sit atop the AL East by a wide margin, the next closest being their longtime rivals, the Boston Red Sox, at 47-39. Judge has been a big reason the Yankees have found major success this season, and he is firmly in the MVP conversation, from leading the league in home runs (30) as we currently stand, runs (67) and total bases (167), according to https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/j/judgeaa01.shtml .
Judge is one of the most unique athletes ever, standing at six-feet-seven and weighing 262 pounds, but he has the agility of someone 100 pounds lighter. He is the biggest centerfielder to ever play in the major leagues and is on pace for 60 home runs this season, which would be the first time since the league implemented steroid testing in 2003. The Yankees are also on pace to win 117 games if they keep winning at their current rate.
Judge is not without competition, though, for the award; Los Angeles Angels star pitcher, Shohei Ohtani, and Houston Astros left fielder, Yordan Alavarez, will be in the running for it as well, to name a few. Alvarez will unfortunately be on the injured list for at least ten days, due to a left hand injury, according to https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/34223484/houston-astros-yordan-alvarez-placed-il-hand-gotten-worse. Prior to the injury, Alavarez was seen as the favorite for the award as recently as July 6th, according to https://sportsnaut.com/mlb-mvp-race-odds-2022/ He had 26 homers, a 1.058 OPS, a .306 batting average and a .405 OBP.
The Astros sit atop the AL West with a 56-29 record and are a prospect for second best in the AL conference, behind the Yankees. Numbers typically matter more than overall winning in baseball, hence the reason Ohtani won MVP last season. But, with Judge’s team having a better record, Alvarez going down and Judge seeming to have better numbers, he can obtain more votes if he continues dominating at the level he is.
Now, for Ohtani, the reigning AL MVP from last season, you guys should checkout the article I did on him last season: https://www.djssportsshow.com/post/shohei-ohtani-of-los-angeles-angels-unanimously-wins-al-mvp. Ohtani was once again named an All-Star, as well as the only player designated as a hitter and pitcher in the game twice, whereas no one else has done that even once. That’s how special he is. Despite playing for a subpar Angels team, who currently sit at 38-49 and are good for third in the AL West, Ohtani is still putting up incredible numbers, hitting 19 home runs this season, along with 54 RBIs and 10 stolen bases.
Ohtani’s slug percentage is down from .592 last season to .491 this season. He has a batting average of .256 and an OBP (On Base Percentage) of .342, which is slightly down from his .372 mark last season. With all that, Ohtani is still a tremendous player that baseball has never seen before, as he continues to transcend what is possible for a MLB star in this game.
With the first half of the season almost completed, and the July 19th All-Star game right around the corner, who is your AL MVP favorite? Is it the Yankee hero found in Judge, the Houston's Alvarez, the otherworldly Japanese Angel Ohtani or perhaps someone else? Altogether, it should be an exciting race, as we prepare for the second half of the MLB season.