NEW YORK (AP) — Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees won the American League MVP award on Thursday night, and St. Louis Cardinals slugger Paul Goldschmidt took the NL prize.
After hitting 62 home runs this season to break the AL record, Judge easily beat out Los Angeles Angels two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani in an MVP race some thought might be close.
The 6-foot-7 outfielder received 28 of 30 first-place votes and two seconds for 410 points from a Baseball Writers' Association of America panel. Ohtani, last year's winner, was picked first on two ballots and second on the other 28 for 280 points.
Yordan Alvarez of the World Series champion Houston Astros finished third.
Goldschmidt took the NL trophy for the first time after a couple of close calls earlier in his career.
The first baseman received 22 of 30 first-place votes and eight seconds from a separate BBWAA panel.
"It's a great honor. But it isn't just about me," Goldschmidt said in an interview on MLB Network. "I mean, there's been so many people that have helped me."
San Diego Padres third baseman Manny Machado finished second with 291 points after getting seven first-place votes, 13 seconds and seven thirds.
Goldschmidt's teammate with the NL Central champion Cardinals, third baseman Nolan Arenado, came in third with 232 points. He was picked first on one ballot, second on two and third on 15.
Now a free agent, Judge broke the AL record of 61 homers set by Yankees slugger Roger Maris in 1961.
Judge, the tallest MVP in major league history, 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.
Ohtani put together perhaps the greatest two-way season in baseball history for a third-place Angels team that finished 73-89.
The superstar from Japan 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 RBIs and an .875 OPS.
Alvarez, the Houston slugger who launched a go-ahead homer in the clinching game of the World Series, hit .306 with 37 home runs, 97 RBIs and a 1.019 OPS during the regular season.
The 35-year-old Goldschmidt batted .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 topping the league in slugging percentage (.578).