The Los Angeles Angels have enjoyed yet another stellar season from Shohei Ohtani as an encore to his MVP campaign in 2021. But with the torrid pace Aaron Judge is on for the New York Yankees, interim manager Phil Nevin believes it’ll take all season to decide this year’s winner.
At the plate, Ohtani has posted a 143 wRC+ with a .368 wOBA up until this point in the season, with 27 home runs and a .875 on-base plus slugging. He has singlehanded carried the offensive output for the Angels after Mike Trout went down with an injury and Taylor Ward took a step back following his hot start.
Ohtani is 10-7 with a 2.69 ERA in 117 innings thus far, and those numbers coupled with his bat, have put him in a prime position to make a run at a possible repeat MVP award.
But Judge has been incredible. For all that Ohtani has done, Judge has been that much better, and he is on a pace to possibly break MLB’s all-time home run record. His 7.5 WAR leads baseball, and Nevin says it won’t be an easy debate, via Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com:
“That’s a hard one for me,” Nevin said. “Love them both. To say I’d vote for one guy over another — our guy, nobody does what our guy does. You’re talking about a top-however-many Cy Young pitcher, and he’s probably right up there in offensive categories too. So, I don’t think anybody can match those things.”
During his time with the Yankees from 2018-to-2021, Nevin had a chance to witness Judge firsthand and watch him grow into the superstar he’s become.
For Judge, the stars are aligned with his on-field play and the success of the Yankees record-wise that the voters will undoubtedly take it into consideration.
This MVP race will come down to sustained production in the final month-plus of the season and regardless of what Ohtani does on the mound, Judge’s power display has the attention of MLB.
Touki Toussaint says Ohtani is ‘one of a kind’
The Angels completed their three-game set against the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday afternoon. And although they were ultimately swept by their AL West opponent, there were several top-tier performances throughout the series, including Shohei Ohtani on Wednesday.
Ohtani went 4-for-5 in the series finale, including a home run, a triple, four RBIs, and two runs scored. It was easily one of his best offensive games of the season, as he finished just a double shy of the cycle. He was directly responsible for the Angels’ seven-run output.
However, the Angels lost 11-7, as Touki Toussaint (4 ER, 2.2 IP), Mike Mayers (5 ER, 5.1 IP), and Jaime Barria (2 ER, 1.0 IP) all struggled. But after the game, the discussion remained laser-focused on Ohtani.
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