Ohtani took it last year, but it would be the first time for Judge if he wins.
While Ohtani’s prowess both as a pitcher and as a hitter may give him an edge, Judge is very much in the race because no one has produced as much as he has with the bat.
To examine his offensive performance, we will use wRC+.
wRC+ means weighted Runs Created Plus, and helps us quantify run creation so we can compare players who play in different ballparks and even different eras.
For wRC+, 100 is considered league average: 140, for example, would be 40 percent above league average; and 85 would mean 15 percent below league average.
Judge Has No Rivals When It Comes To Offensive Production
Judge’s wRC+ for the year is an incredible 199: the second-ranked player, Yordan Alvarez, is at 189, and he doesn’t play the field much.
For reference, Ohtani has a 135 wRC+: very good, but very far from what Judge has produced.
In addition to his season wRC+, Judge has been on fire for about two months now.
“Highest wRC+ since June 15 (qualified hitters): Aaron Judge: 207, Nolan Arenado: 201, Austin Riley: 197, Freddie Freeman: 189, Yordan Alvarez: 185, Juan Soto: 182, Corey Seager: 174, Adley Rutschman: 169,” MLB stats expert Sarah Langs tweeted.
Highest wRC+ since June 15 (qualified hitters):
Aaron Judge: 207
Nolan Arenado: 201
Austin Riley: 197
Freddie Freeman: 189
Yordan Alvarez: 185
Juan Soto: 182
Corey Seager: 174
Adley Rutschman: 169
— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) August 11, 2022
The only man capable of taking the MVP award away from Judge, at this point, is Ohtani, mainly because he also has an incredible 2.68 ERA as a pitcher in addition to that 135 wRC+.
The MVP race will probably go down to the wire, but if Judge hits 60 or 65 home runs (his current pace), it will be hard for voters to deny him the award.