Is Shohei Ohtani the best bet for AL MVP?
Even with all the success the Yankees and Aaron Judge have had so far this year we think Ohtani is the by far the best player in baseball and should win AL MVP if he keeps this pace up.
Aaron Judge has had a phenomenal season and has helped the Yankees get to the best record in baseball. If you eliminate Ohtani then Judge is probably the runaway MVP in the American League, assuming he continues to play at this same level. The problem with that logic however, is that Shohei is very much not eliminated and in fact is playing at an elite level as a hitter and a pitcher. His hitting stats haven't been quite what the were last year but his pitching is improved and he could just be warming up. He had a historic performance last night going 3-4 with 2 HRs (his 14th and 15th of the season) 8 RBI, and raising his batting average to .260 in the process. He is top 10 in the MLB in strikeouts with an ERA slightly over 3.00, and we think he can string together a few more strong starts in his next few outing as he is starting to really heat up on the mound. Last time out at Seattle he went 6 innings stuck out 6 and gave up 0 runs. We are looking for him to build on that over his next few starts and hopefully his bat can stay hot as well. We want to lock this bet in before his start tonight as we think there is a very good chance his odds get cut if he puts up another strong performance on the mound tonight against a KC team that isn't very good.
What Ohtani is doing is really unheard of, we have never seen a player who can hit and pitch with such effectiveness and power. Judge is really fighting an uphill battle if he want to win the MVP award ahead of Ohtani. He has been hitting a lot of HRs, his overall hitting numbers are impressive, and the Yankees are on fire for sure. But how do you compete with a player who is hitting 2nd or 3rd in the lineup everyday, hitting HRs, hitting for average, getting on base, and then pitching as a starter every 5 games at an elite level. There just isn't a comparison, and again what Aaron Judge is doing is remarkable but it just can't compare to an elite two way player like Ohtani who was voted unanimously as the AL MVP last year. Also important to consider the historic hitting season that Vlad Jr. put up last year, which by the way is very comparable to what Judge is doing this year in fact you could make the argument that he had a better year than what Judge is projected to finish at as of right now. And Vlad managed to get 0 first place votes in a season in which he flirted with a triple crown.
Shohei has had a little bit of a slow start to the year but he is showing signs of catching fire and you want to jump on this train before he really starts to get it going. There are 5/1 and even 6/1 numbers out there which we think is tremendous value whether Judge cools off or not. But again bet it before tonights game because these numbers may not be around for long if he has another strong start.