The Angels star is having another historic season.
Including doing something that has never been seen before in the MLB.
After, hitting his 30th home run of the season on Wednesday night, Ohtani became the first player ever to hit 30 home runs and record 10 pitching wins in one season.
Shohei Ohtani is the first player in AL/NL HISTORY with 30 home runs and 10 wins on the mound in the same season.
— MLB (@MLB) September 1, 2022
This historic season has once again put the 28-year-old in the AL MVP conversation.
The 30 homers put Ohtani tied for third in the AL.
The reigning AL MVP continues to hit the ball hard this season.
He is also having the best season of his career on the mound.
Ohtani has thrown 128.0 innings with 176 strikeouts and a 2.67 ERA.
Even though Ohtani does not qualify in pitching statistics at the moment, he is number one in the MLB in K/9 with 12.4.
The two-way machine continues to show no sign of showing down despite playing such a long season.
His continued dominance on the mound continues to keep him in the MVP race despite the Angles having another terrible season.
Let us take a deeper look at how Ohtani might be able to steal the award from Aaron Judge.
AL MVP Race
Aaron Judge has been the heavy favorite to win the AL MVP most of the season.
But, Ohtani continues to close in simply because of his pitching ability.
If we compared Judge and Ohtani as hitters only it would not be much of a contest.
Judge has already hit 51 home runs and driven in 113 with a .296 batting average.
Plus, Judge has an incredible 7.8 WAR with still one month to play in the season.
While, if you combined Ohtani’s hitting and pitching WAR, he is at 7.4.
With one month to play in the season, Judge is closing in on the AL home run record of 61 set by Roger Maris.
That is the type of legendary season needed to overtake Ohtani.
Ohtani trails in all of those stats and in team win/loss record which some voters take into account.
The whole idea of “most valuable” is where things get tricky.
Last season, Ohtani won the MVP over Vladimir Guerrero Jr. who had an incredible season.
Ohtani is undoubtedly the “most valuable” player in the league because he is a two-way player.
But, if that is the case then Ohtani is going to win the award every season.
Voter fatigue will most likely set in and present an opportunity for other players to win the award as we see across professional sports.
OPINION: Aaron Judge (7.8 WAR, 51 HR, 1.062 OPS) and Shohei Ohtani (7.3 WAR, 30 HR, 2.67 ERA) have both had phenomenal seasons. Instead of debating who deserves the AL MVP Award more, both are deserving and it should be shared – joint winners. Debate over. Acknowledge greatness.
— Dan Clark (@DanClarkSports) September 1, 2022
Is it possible we see joint-winners?
That happened once in MLB history.
The aforementioned pitching stats of Ohtani make him incredibly valuable.
But, the season that Judge is having is historic and it should be rewarded.
The Angels’ superstar will continue to break records every season as a two-way player.
Also, he will probably win a few more MVP awards, but this season the hardware should be headed home with Judge.