NEW YORK (AP) — Aaron Judge’s record-setting season with the New York Yankees has turned the AL MVP discussion into a deciding verdict.
Paul Goldschmidt’s steady production for the St. Louis Cardinals made him the obvious pick in the National League.
And after finishing second before, both made their way to the MVP awards for Game 1 on Thursday night.
“It’s hard to put into words,” Judge told MLB Network. Surrounded by his cheerful wife, parents and clients. “It’s an incredible, unbelievable moment. A lot of hard work over the years to get to this point.”
After hitting an American League record-breaking 62 home runs, Judge handily beat two-way Los Angeles Angels phenom Shuhei Ohtani in an MVP race some thought might be close.
The outfielder is 6-foot-7 He received 28 out of 30 first-place votes and two second place finishes for 410 points by the Baseball Writers Association of America. Otani, last year’s winner, was picked first by two cards and second over 28 other points for a total of 280 points.
Yordan Alvarez, the World Series champion Houston Astros, finished third.
Judge admitted to feeling “very nervous” about the announcement, calling Ohtani “by far one of the best players on the planet.”
“You never want to take on anything,” said the judge. “Both of these guys had incredible years.”
Goldschmidt won the NL Award for the first time after two close calls earlier in his career. first baseman He received 22 out of 30 first-place votes and eight second-place finishes 380 points from a separate BBWAA board.
“It’s such an honor. But it’s not just about me,” Goldschmidt said. “I mean, there were a lot of people who helped me.”
San Diego Padres’ third-place finisher Manny Machado finished second with 291 points, after receiving seven first-place votes and 13 second.
Nolan Arenado, teammate with Goldschmidt on the NL Central champion, was third with 232 points. Arenado is picked first in one card, second in two and third in 15.
Goldschmidt gave the Cardinals their 18th MVP, second among major league teams to the Yankees (21).
now free proxy, Judge broke the record of 61 hits set by Roger Maris for the Yankees in 1961.
tallest player in league history, Judge also led the majors in runs (133), on-base percentage (. 425), slugging percentage (. 686), OPS (1.111), extra base hits (90) and total bases (391) to help the Yankees win the AL East. He tied for the big league lead with 131 RBIs and was second in the AL with a . 311 batting average.
Okhtani put together perhaps the greatest two-way season in baseball history for a third-place Angels team that finished 73-89.
The Japanese star went 15-9 with a 2.33 ERA and 219 strikeouts in 28 starts on the mound covering 166 innings. At the plate, he batted . 273 with 34 homers, 95 RBI, and a 0.875 OPS.
Alvarez, the go-ahead Houston batter in the World Series game, batted . 306 with 37 home runs, 97 runs batted in and a 1.019 OPS.
Judge was AL Rookie of the Year in 2017, when he finished a distant second in MVP voting to Houston second baseman Jose Altuve.
317 with 35 home runs, 115 RBIs, and a league-leading 981 OPS this season. He had 41 doubles and scored 106 runs while compiling a . 404 on-base percentage and leading the league in slugging percentage (. 578).
“I definitely think as you get older, you have to adapt, and that’s some of what I tried to do. I tried to get ahead of it,” Goldschmidt said. “You can’t try to do the same thing you did the year before. But yeah, kind of a stigma that’s only going to get worse as you get older. I mean, nobody likes that. They don’t like being told you can’t do something, so it’s definitely motivation.”
The seven-time All-Star and 4-time Gold Glove winner was runner-up for the NL MVP in 2013 and 2015, then finished 3rd in 2017 — all with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He came in sixth last year with the Cardinals.
“I never felt like I was missing something,” Goldschmidt said. “I felt like I had some great years throughout my career, and some of the other guys in those odd years had played better than me and won MVP awards.”
Machado batted . 298 with 32 homers, 102 RBIs, and 898 OPS. He had 37 doubles and scored 100 points to lead the Padres to the playoffs with a wild card berth.
Arenado hit . 293 with 30 homers and 103 RBIs, shining in defense at third base again to earn his 10th consecutive Gold Glove to start his career. He had 42 doubles and 891 OPS.
Backed by Goldschmidt, Arenado, and Albert Pujols, the Cardinals went 93-69 and have won Division II titles in the past four years. They were swept at home by the NL champion Philadelphia Phillies in the wild card round.
Balloting was conducted prior to the post-season.
“Whether I win this or not, it’s going to be an amazing year,” Goldschmidt said. “It was the best year for me and the most fun, playing with Nolan, Albert and many of our guys. So, it was incredible.”
Goldschmidt has a $1.5 million bonus in his contract for winning the MVP award, while Arenado earns $50,000 for finishing third.
Alvarez made $75,000 for his third-place finish.
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