Judge, Goldy continue to lead MVP poll

August 5th, 2022

When you're doing the things Aaron Judge and Paul Goldschmidt are doing, it's easy to see why the two sluggers are atop our MVP poll for the third consecutive survey. Judge's prodigious power display over the past three weeks for the Yankees and Goldschmidt's continued excellence at the plate for the Cardinals made them overwhelming favorites in our balloting. Most of the other names in the top five in each league are familiar from our last vote, but there has been some shifting in the rankings.

MLB.com voters were asked to rank their top five MVP candidates in each league based on what has happened so far and what they expect will happen in the months to come. Players received vote points on a 5-4-3-2-1 scale -- five points for a first-place vote, four points for a second-place vote and so on, with 43 voters participating. Here are the results. (All stats are through Thursday. All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.)


1. Aaron Judge, OF, Yankees (37 first-place votes)
DraftKings MVP odds: -475 bet $475 to win $100

This one was a landslide after what Judge has done over the past three weeks. He maintains his spot atop our AL MVP watch, but has a firmer grip on it this time after smashing 13 homers over his last 17 games while hitting .397 over that stretch. He leads the Majors in homers (43), RBIs (93), slugging percentage (.676) and total bases (261). He’s also well on his way to setting a Yankees franchise record for home runs in a single season, currently Roger Maris’ 61 from 1961. But the question is: Will he hit 70 or more? At this rate, you can’t count him out.

2. Shohei Ohtani, DH/RHP, Angels (6 first-place votes)
DraftKings MVP odds: 3.5-1

Ohtani continues to wow us, even after his incredible two-way MVP season in 2021. He’s been absolutely overpowering on the mound since June 9. Outside of a rough start on July 22 against the Braves in Atlanta, Ohtani has a 1.05 ERA in eight starts since then, with 78 strikeouts and 12 walks. And lest we forget, he’s belted 24 home runs with an .860 OPS at the plate after launching a pair of homers Thursday. It’s hard to put into words just how remarkable he has been, particularly in the last two seasons.

3. Yordan Alvarez, DH/LF, Astros
DraftKings MVP odds: 45-1

Despite missing some time due to right hand inflammation, Alvarez has smashed 30 home runs -- including four since he returned to the lineup on July 21 -- and leads the Majors with a 1.066 OPS. His breakout season is helping fuel yet another Astros run toward a division title and what Houston hopes will be another World Series appearance, its fourth in six years.

4. José Ramírez, 3B, Guardians
DraftKings MVP odds: 65-1

Ramírez moves up one spot in the latest MVP rankings, swapping places with Rafael Devers. The Cleveland third baseman, who leads the league with 34 doubles, has been an AL MVP finalist three times already in his career, but has yet to win the honor. It’s going to be an uphill climb again this year, given what those ahead of him in the race are doing.

5. Rafael Devers, 3B, Red Sox
DraftKings MVP odds: 100-1

While the Red Sox are in a nosedive, Devers just continues to hit. Following a red-hot May in which he posted a 1.133 OPS with eight homers, he’s cooled off a bit -- but “cooling off” for Devers is still hot, as he hit .300/.327/.660 in July before missing time due to a right hamstring injury. In his return to the lineup Tuesday, he went 2-for-4 with a double and his 23rd home run of the season.

Others receiving votes: Vladimir Guerrero, Jr.; Justin Verlander; Xander Bogaerts; Mike Trout; Julio Rodríguez; Emmanuel Clase; Byron Buxton; Luis Arraez; Andrés Giménez


1. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, Cardinals (30 first-place votes)
DraftKings MVP odds: -135 bet $135 to win $100

Goldschmidt remains gold when it comes to our MVP vote, leading the way for the third straight edition. He continues to lead the NL with a 1.027 OPS, and along with fellow MVP candidate Nolan Arenado at the other corner of the infield, Goldy continues to fuel the Cardinals in their quest for the NL Central crown.

2. Austin Riley, 3B, Braves (3 first-place votes)
DraftKings MVP odds: 3.8-1

Fresh off a 10-year, $212 million contract extension, Riley jumps up three spots in our MVP poll thanks to a monster month of July, in which he had a 1.344 OPS and 11 home runs for the defending World Series champions.

3. Freddie Freeman, 1B, Dodgers
DraftKings MVP odds: 7-1

Freeman got off to a relatively slow start in the power department this season, but his recent power surge has him back in the top five of our MVP poll for the first time since our first survey back in May. Since our last poll, Freeman is hitting .386 with eight doubles and three homers in 19 games for a Dodgers club that has won 26 of its last 31.

4. Pete Alonso, 1B, Mets (3 first-place votes)
DraftKings MVP odds: 20-1

Alonso continues to enjoy his best season at the plate since 2019, when he set the rookie single-season home run record with 53. This season, he’s leading the NL with 91 RBIs after smashing his 29th homer of the year Thursday against the Braves at Citi Field. He’s on pace to challenge his career high in homers (53) and RBIs (120, also in ’19).

5. Nolan Arenado, 3B, Cardinals (6 first-place votes)
DraftKings MVP odds: 30-1

For years, Arenado had to overcome the altitude of Coors Field in his bid to win an MVP Award, and he finished among the top five in MVP balloting twice while with the Rockies. Now with the Cardinals, he’s putting together the best season of his already prolific career. He’s leading baseball with 5.4 WAR (FanGraphs) thanks to a .903 OPS and his signature Gold Glove-caliber defense at the hot corner.

Others receiving votes: Manny Machado (1 first-place vote); Trea Turner; Sandy Alcantara; Mookie Betts; Dansby Swanson; Juan Soto; Francisco Lindor; Kyle Schwarber