At the conclusion of the 2021 MLB season, Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels, won the American League MVP Award via a unanimous vote. Ohtani, who pitched — and hit — for the Angels, was the 11th American League player to win the MVP in a sweep.
Ohtani joined the following unanimous American League MVP winners: Hank Greenberg (1935), Al Rosen (1953), Mickey Mantle (1956), Frank Robinson (1966), Denny McLain (1968), Reggie Jackson (1973), Jose Canseco (1988), Frank Thomas (1993), Ken Griffey Jr. (1997) and Mike Trout (2014).
The winner of the American Rookie of the Year Award in 2018, Ohtani started 23 games on the mound for the Angels in 2021. He was the designated hitter in 126 of the 132 games he played when not pitching.
The Angels have three other AL MVP winners: Don Baylor (1979), Vladimir Guerrero (2004) and Trout (2014, ’26 and ’19.)
Guerrero’s son, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. of the Toronto Blue Jays, was the runner up to Ohtani in 2021 voting.
Ohtani and Guerrero Jr. are both in the mix to win the 2022 AL MVP, but the runaway leader right now is New York Yankees’ slugger Aaron Judge.
Before we look at the players in the running for the 2022 American League Most Valuable Player Award, check out our tips on betting on the MLB MVP as well as the best sites for betting on MLB in 2022.
2022 MLB AL MVP picks
|To Win 2022 American League MVP Award|
|Vladimir Guerrero Jr.||+4000||+4000||+1500||+1500|
Aaron Judge was the runner-up in the 2017 AL MVP voting to Jose Altuve. Judge finished that year with a .284 batting average, 53 home runs and 114 RBI’s. He played in 155 games in 2017. Last season, Judge finished fourth in AL MVP voting . He had a .287 batting average, 39 HR’s and 98 RBI’s, playing in 148 games.
When Judge is healthy, he is a threat to win the MVP. The problem with Judge is that he misses games. He played in 112 games in 2018 and 102 games in 2019.
As of this writing, Judge has played in all but three of the Yankees 2022 games. The 30-year-old has been playing very well. Judge leads the majors in home runs (29) and is second in the American League in RBI’s with 59. He is first on the Yankees in batting average (.286), hits (82). OBP (.361) and OPS (.988).
The American League has not had a back-to-back MVP award winner since Miguel Cabrera won the award in 2012 and 2013. Ohtani could break that streak, while also being the first designated hitter to win consecutive MVP awards. In 2021, he became the first DH to ever win the award.
The Angels’ star started the season a bit shaky with his hitting, but he has come around as the Angels have gone deeper in the season. Ohtani is currently hitting .265, which is a better average than he had last season. He leads the Angles in hits with 75.
As for pitching, Ohtani had a superb month in June. He finished the month with a career-high scoreless streak of 21 2/3 innings. His ERA over 13 starts this year is 2.68 and he has a record of 7-4.
Mike Trout is a three-time AL MVP. Like Judge, when he is healthy, he is a threat to win the MVP. Trout was limited to 36 games in 2021. Trout has also finished second in AL MVP voting on four occasions.
Trout had a bit of a dip in his hitting while the Angels were struggling as a team earlier this season, but his struggles did not last.
Trout is second to Judge in the majors in home runs with 23. He leads the Angels in batting average at .285, OBP with .387 and OPS at 1.037. The 30-year-old has played in 69 of the team’s 78 games in 2022.
If Judge can remain healthy and stay on the pace he has set as the 2022 MLB season heads toward the All-Star break, the AL MVP is his to lose. Judge’s contract with the Yankees for the 2022 season is worth $19 million and if he wins the MVP he earns a $250,000 bonus.
Pick: Aaron Judge to win the 2022 American League MVP Award.
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