Of course, there’s still a lot of time before the pennant race ends. But at this point, Shohei Ohtani (Los Angeles Angels) has a very good chance of winning both the American League MVP and home run titles.
Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees set a new American League single-season home run record with 62 home runs last year, the most ever by a major leaguer 메이저사이트 without a drug test. As a result, he signed a massive nine-year, $360 million contract with the Yankees as a free agent for the first time in his career.
Since his debut in 2016, Jersey has been a consistent performer through the 2022 season, a trend that continued this year. Despite battling a few injuries, Judge was a force to be reckoned with, hitting .291 with 19 home runs and a 1.078 OPS in 49 games. The home runs were by far the most impressive of the bunch, more than making up for the time off. But then something happened.
On April 4, Judge suffered a foot injury while playing defense against the Los Angeles Dodgers. With the Yankees leading 5-3 in the bottom of the eighth inning, Judge chased down a J.D. Martinez hit with the bases loaded and made a spectacular catch over the barbed-wire fence in right field. The play landed him on the disabled list (IL) with a contusion and ligament injury to his right big toe.
His absence from the lineup changed the home run leaderboard. That’s because Ohtani, who had 15 home runs before he went down, is on an incredible pace. Ohtani hit his 16th home run on the seventh day after the news broke that Judge had been placed on the disabled list to move into sole possession of second place in the American League, and since then, he has hit six arches to knock Judge off his perch and take sole possession of first place in the league.
Ohtani’s current pace at the plate is on pace for a two-hitter. In 70 games at the plate, Ohtani is hitting .301 with 22 home runs, 54 RBIs, 47 runs scored and a 1.006 OPS. He leads the team in home runs, OPS, and RBI (167). On the mound, he’s 6-2 with a 3.29 ERA in 14 games. While he hasn’t had much luck winning lately, his ERA is one of the lowest in the league.
Ohtani leads the team with a bWAR (wins above replacement) of 4.7 according to Baseball Reference and a fWAR of 3.0 (No. 1) according to FanGraphs. While his WAR is inevitably higher because he’s playing as an “idoryu,” it’s clear that he’s doing well on both ends of the field. This is why Ohtani has the edge in the MVP race.
At this rate, Ohtani could very well win both the American League MVP and home run titles as his time with the jersey grows longer. If you were to name a candidate to challenge the reigning MVP, it would be Tampa Bay Rays “ace” Shane McClanahan (11-1 with a 2.12 ERA). However, the MVP title is rarely awarded to pitchers in the major leagues, as there is a Cy Young Award.
Sports Illustrated (SI) has already picked Ohtani as the American League MVP. “Ohtani has already put an end to the American League MVP race,” SI writes, “He’s hit the most home 메이저놀이터순위 runs and is the hardest player to hit. There are better hitters and pitchers than Ohta. But to be so good at both for so long is what makes Ohtani the most amazing player of all time.”
“The comparisons to Babe Ruth and Idoru are long overdue. Don’t take Ohtani for granted. Ohtani is having the season of Mike Trout (LAA) and Justin Verlander (NYM) combined. No one else is playing as well as he is,” he said of the American League MVP.
According to the New York Post, Jersey has been undergoing regular injections. However, there is still no timetable for his return. Reporters have asked if he could have “surgery” if his condition doesn’t improve, and manager Aaron Boone hasn’t given a clear answer on the possibility of a return before the All-Star break.
If Ohtani, who is eligible for free agency for the first time in his career after this season, hits the market with the MVP and home run titles in hand, the price tag could be staggering.