Aaron Judge Leapfrogs Back Into Pole Position for American League MVP After Walk-Off Home Run
Adam Hunger/Getty. Pictured: Aaron Judge.
Shohei Ohtani may have briefly been the favorite to take home his second consecutive MVP award, but that didn’t last long as Aaron Judge reclaimed his status as top dog after blasting a walk-off home run against the Kansas City Royals on Thursday night.
Entering the evening, Judge and Ohtani were locked at near pick ’em odds of -110 to win the award. For all intents and purposes, this is a two-horse race, with the next-shortest odds belonging to Yordan Alvarez, who is listed at +1400.
Last night, however, Judge broke the deadlock between the Royals and the Yankees with the final swing of the game, notching his 39th home run of the season and giving the Yankees the victory in the process.
This angle of the Aaron Judge walk-off 😍
— Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) July 29, 2022
Judge moved to -140 following the at-bat, and Ohtani is now +110 to take home the MVP award.
On the year, Judge is slashing .293 / .375 / .653 with a 5.1 WAR and 39 home runs. Ohtani is producing a .254 / .349 / .486 slash line with a 4.9 WAR and 21 homers, but the Angels superstar is, of course, an ace on the mound as well.
These two will battle throughout the rest of the season, with Alvarez (+1400), Rafael Devers (+3000), Jose Ramirez (+4500) and Mike Trout (+8000) unlikely to mount any real threats.
Ohtani is looking to become the first back-to-back MVP winner since Miguel Cabrera in the 2012-13 seasons, while Judge is seeking his first MVP honor.