Game Day: Ohtani vs. Judge for MVP – Modesti’s verdict

Editor’s note: This is the Wednesday Oct. 5 edition of the “Game Day with Kevin Modesti” newsletter. To receive the newsletter in your inbox, sign up here.

Good morning. Baseball’s regular season wraps up today with Aaron Judge and Shohei Ohtani leading the major leagues in buzz right to the end.

I’ll have my last word on their race for American League MVP after a look at other news:

The last time the newsletter discussed the Most Valuable Player debate between supporters of the Yankees’ Judge and the Angels’ Ohtani, there was about a month to go in the season and I looked forward to all of the “well, interesting” arguments we were going to hear. I haven’t been disappointed.

The straightforward argument for Ohtani is that the 2021 AL MVP continues to do things as a two-way player that nobody has done since Babe Ruth or, we can now say, ever. If he merely pitches one inning today when he starts the Angels’ final game of 2022 at Oakland, he will have enough innings this season to be the first player in major-league history to qualify for the rate-statistic leaders lists as a batter and pitcher. This morning he’s fourth in the league in the catch-all hitting stat adjusted OPS+ (146 — that is, 46% above average) and fourth in adjusted ERA+ (171, 71% above average).

The basic argument for Judge is that he has been the dominant…

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