The Mets and Yankees each came into the year with star power and a lot to be excited about. Aaron Judge and Pete Alonso are two power hitters that each reside in New York. The AL and NL MVP award futures each have them as top candidates to take home the hardware in 2023.
Despite it being early in the MLB season, we’ll track where each of these guys stand in their league award races.
Aaron Judge Looking to Become First Repeat MVP Winner In 10 Years
Aaron Judge is coming off a season in which he hit an American League record 62 home runs, while hitting .311. Judge ended up receiving 28 of the 30 first place votes to secure his first ever MVP award.
In 2023 Judge isn’t quite up to his 2022 pace. Through 22 games, he’s hitting .244 with 6 home runs and 11 RBI. The Yankees are off to a 13-9 start with Judge in the two hole of the lineup. Judge has gone hitless in his last two games but will look to get back on track in his team’s upcoming series in Minnesota.
Judge will be hoping to win back to back MVPs this season. The last person to do so was Miguel Cabrera, when he accomplished the feat in the 2012-13 seasons.
Ohtani Could Make Judge’s Path Difficult
Angels two way superstar Shohei Ohtani came into the 2023 season as the favorite to win the AL MVP award. Ohtani continues to produce both ways but has been particularly effective on the mound. In five starts, Ohtani is 3-0 with a 0.64 ERA. He’s thrown 28 innings and has only given up two runs. At the plate Ohtani is hitting .266 with five home runs.
The fact that he’s doing it on the mound and at the plate make his value immense. Aaron Judge needed 62 home runs last year in order to beat him out. It’s unlikely that Judge will put together that same offensive season again.
One thing to look out for in this race is whether or not Ohtani gets dealt at the trade deadline. The Angels could look to deal him at the deadline if if they aren’t contenders and don’t think they have legitimate shot at re-signing him when he hits free agency in the off-season.
If Ohtani changes leagues it would mean chaos in the betting world. The MLB awards are league specific, and voters vote for who the best player was in a given league. If Ohtani gets traded to an NL team, it would help Judge’s odds but would hurt Mets superstar Pete Alonso’s.
Pete Alonso Keeps Homering
Mets first baseman Pete Alonso is off to a hot start in 2023. Through 23 games, he’s hit 10 home runs while racking up an NL leading 23 RBI. In 2019, Alonso hit 53 home runs in his rookie year. He’s completely capable of leaving the yard in big numbers and has shown that ability to start the year.
Alonso hasn’t hit above .271 in his prior four seasons in the big leagues. This year he’s hitting .267. If he’s going to win MVP he’s likely going to need to hit 50+ home runs and have the Mets be serious World Series contenders.
Aaron Judge and Pete Alonso Best MVP Odds
Most NY sportsbooks have Judge listed behind Ohtani and Trout to win the AL MVP award. Ohtani is listed at even money on BetRivers, which is fairly unprecedented given we’re still in April.
On the National League side, Alonso is only listed behind Ronald Acuna Jr. Acuna is off to a scorching start with the Braves. In 22 games, he’s hitting .374 with an OBP of .452. The NL MVP award has the makings of a battle that could be decided deep into September.