2022 American League MVP Award Finalists

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MVP award
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 23: Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees smiles after a solo home run by Harrison Bader #22 in the sixth inning against the Houston Astros in game four of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium on October 23, 2022 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Now that the World Series has come and gone, it’s time to take a look at the finalists for the most prestigious regular season achievement, the MVP award. Everyone has already penciled in their winner of the trophy in each league but there’s a reel case to be made for all involved. Most specifically, the American League has a fascinating race that might be closer than most think between two greats who put up unbelievable numbers. The MVP award is set to be announced on November 17th and whoever wins it will be highly deserving.

American League MVP Award Finalists

Aaron Judge (Yankees)

Everyone expects Aaron Judge to take home the American League MVP award after a historic campaign in 2022. Not only did we see Judge take the Triple Crown race down to the final week of the season but we also saw him break Roger Meris’ AL homerun record of 61 by hitting 62 bombs. He placed fifth in the majors with a .311 batting average (second in AL) and led in home runs (62), runs (133), RBIs (131), slugging percentage (.686), on-base percentage (.425), OPS+ (211), and total bases (391). That’s a long list of historic numbers by the New York Yankees slugger.

Judge bet on himself coming into the season by turning down a seven-year, $213.5M contract in the offseason and it paid off as now he enters free agency awaiting a huge payday. The Yankees outfielder winning the MVP award would just be the icing on the cake heading into what will be one of the biggest bidding wars in MLB history.

Shohei Ohtani (Angels)

Coming into the season, two-way sensation Shohei Ohtani had the best odds to win the American League MVP. While the results are not in, it’s likely he finishes second due to Judge’s record-setting performance at the plate. There’s a legit argument as to why Ohtani should win the award for 2022. Not only is he one of the best power bats in the game but he is also a top-line starting pitcher, something we haven’t seen in the game of baseball. The 28-year-old superstar followed up his MVP season of 46 home runs and 100 RBI in 2021 by hitting .273 with 34 home runs and 95 RBI in 2022.

What might be even more impressive is his pitching line. As the ace for the Los Angeles Angels, he went 15-9 with 219 strikeouts and an ERA of 2.33 in 28 starts. This after going 9-2 with a 3.18 ERA in 2021. We’ve never seen anything like what Ohtani has done both at the plate and on the mound for an extended period of time while doing both at a very high level. He might not win back-to-back MVPs this season, but he has a real argument as to why he should and there are many more to come in his career. 

Yordan Alverez (Astros)

Judge and Ohtani might be getting all of the praise for the MVP award, but don’t overlook Yordan Alverez‘s contributions to the Houston Astros this past season. While it’ll be tough to receive more votes than Judge and Ohtani, Alverez had an unbelievable season that capped off a World Series title. While that has nothing to do with this MVP award, it’s hard to understate the value he has to his team. Alverez hit over .300 with with 37 homeruns and 97 RBI. His numbers would’ve been even better if he didn’t miss a handful of games due to a hand injury.

To go along with his best season yet, Alverez made his first All-Star team and won the Silver Slugger award as a designated hitter. Not only did he win Rookie of the Year in 2019 and had back-to-back seasons of great play at the plate in 2021 and 2022, but he’s still only 25 years old and has a lot more years left at this level of play. Alverez would be the first to tell you that he’d rather win a World Championship than an MVP, but there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that he will be aiming for that award for years to come.

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