There are not many times you will see division rivals supporting one another, but when a player like Aaron Judge is having a season like he is this year, it’s not surprising that fellow players across the league are showing him support.
Blue Jays first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. threw his support behind the Yankees slugger, “To be honest, I think if they give it to Shohei Ohtani it will be another steal. Aaron Judge’s numbers are way above Ohtani’s. Ohtani is an excellent player, but for me, the MVP has to be Aaron Judge.”
Last year, Guerrero Jr. and former Jays second baseman Marcus Semien finished second and third behind the two-way superstar in MVP voting. Had Ohtani not been in the picture, Guerrero Jr. would have been the clear-cut favorite.
Now a similar debate has arisen once again, but this time, the case for Ohtani’s opposition is too great to pass up.
Looking at the MVP Debate
It’s a debate that has really gained some traction as of late, as it’s not every day that you see a superstar like Ohtani who can do pretty much everything. At the plate, he owns a .265/.355/.534 slash line with 34 home runs, 88 RBI and a .889 OPS.
On the mound, the right-hander is just as impressive, authoring a 2.55 ERA with a 12.0 K/9 through 24 starts and 141.0 innings. His hitting stats are down from his MVP campaign last year but he is still having a fantastic campaign on a struggling Los Angeles Angels squad.
For Judge, the right-fielder has been outstanding and leads nearly every offensive categories across the league. His .310/.413/.688 slash line is very impressive and he currently leads the MLB in home runs (57), RBI (123), OBP, SLG, and OPS (1.102), with the Yankees slugger chasing some Bronx Bomber legends in the single-season home run record category in Babe Ruth (59 and 60) and Roger Maris (61). Both records are attainable at Judge’s current pace.
Judge vs. Ohtani in fWAR
Looking at fWAR, Judge is leading with a 9.7 while Ohtani slots right behind him at 8.2 (with both offensive and pitching being accounted for). It’s easy to see why Guerrero Jr. and fans across the league are throwing their support behind Judge, as he has been an absolute weapon on the Yankees, sometimes looking like a one-man show.
What makes this situation even more interesting is the fact that he is heading for free agency this offseason, likely cashing in on his MVP-caliber season whether it be in New York or elsewhere.
On the flip side, it’s tough to deny how important a two-way player like Ohtani is to the Angels, especially with how much they are struggling as of late. Considering he can not only drive the ball over the outfield wall but also hit the upper 90s with his fastball, he will gain some MVP traction this season. Question is, will it outweigh what Judge is doing at the plate?
We will have to see what the BBWAA thinks at the end of the season.