The American and National League MVP finalists have been named for the 2022 MLB season.
For the AL, New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge is the leader of the pack and is the likely winner of the award after resetting the single-season AL home run record with 63 blasts, his final coming at Globe Life Park against the Texas Rangers.
But Los Angeles Angels superstar Shohei Ohtani continues to do things that have never been seen in the game. The 28-year-old pitched his way to a 2.33 ERA in 28 starts for the Angels, while hitting .273/.356/.519 with 34 homers and 95 RBI in 157 games.
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He’s the reigning AL MVP after belting 46 homers and notching 100 RBI with a 3.18 ERA in 23 starts last season. While many believe Judge has the MVP locked up – he won the Players’ Choice Award for the American League’s Outstanding Player – Ohtani’s production on both sides makes him hard to count out.
And then there’s the 2022 World Series champion: Houston Astros slugger Yordan Alvarez. The lefty had 37 homers for the second-most in the AL with 97 RBI. He and Judge were the only hitters to post an OPS over 1.000, too, as Alvarez finished at 1.019 with a 187 OPS+ (league average is 100).
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For the National League, Paul Goldschmidt leads the way, and while Ohtani gives Judge a run for the award, no one in the NL is expected to top the St. Louis Cardinals first baseman.
He was chasing the Triple Crown in the NL for quite some time, eventually losing out in the average category. But he still had a .317 average with 35 homers and 115 RBI. He led the NL in slugging (.578) and OPS (.981) as well.
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Goldschmidt's Cardinals teammate, Nolan Arenado, is also in the running. Collecting his 10th consecutive Gold Glove, Arenado also hit 30 homers with a .293 average and 102 RBI for St. Louis. While getting three top-five finishes, Arenado has never won the award.
Manny Machado of the San Diego Padres rounds out the bunch with his .298 average and 32 homers. He was a key factor that helped the Padres get to the NLCS, which they would eventually lose to the Philadelphia Phillies.
The finalists must wait until Nov. 17 to hear the outcome.
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The other MLB awards, which are the Cy Young Awards (Nov. 16), Managers of the Year (Nov. 15) and Jackie Robinson Rookies of the Year (Nov. 14), will also be made next week.