Judge? Oh my? Who tops the list of the best player?

Judge Otani? Oh my judge? Who is your number one MVP race?

In a recent MLB.com MVP poll, there is still one favorite between Aaron Judge and Shohei Ohtani in the MLS. But the race is narrowing down as we enter the final weeks of the regular season.

In the National League? Paul Goldschmidt looks like he’s running away with it. Which is even more impressive considering the other stars vying for this year’s Player of the Year award.

MLB.com voters were asked to rank the top five best player nominees in each league based on what has happened so far and what they expect to happen in the coming weeks. Players score voting 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 50 voters participating.

Here are the results. (All stats as of Wednesday.)

1 – Aaron Judge, Yankees (36 votes #1)
DraftKings MVP Prospects: -2000 ($2000 bet to win $100)

Yes, the favorite is still the judge, who is chasing the history of running at home. Judge hits 57 homers with just under 20 matches. Could he be the first hitter to hit 60 houses since Barry Bonds? Can he break Roger Maris’ number 61 to set a new MLS record? Every judge at bat is a must watch now. Oh… he could win the Triple Crown, too—he leads the AL judge (and major) in home runs and RBIs, and is third in batting average.

2 – Shuhei Otani, Angels (14 votes in first place)
DraftKings MVP Prospects: 8.5 to 1

Ohtani’s closeness to Judge — he more than doubled his votes at number one in a recent MLB.com MVP poll — is a testament to just how special the star duo is. AL MVP Governor has 34 home runs as a hitter, 2.55 ERA and 188 hits as a pitcher. If anyone can challenge a 60-house hitter for an MVP, it’s Ohtani.

3. Jose Ramirez, Guardians
DraftKings MVP Prospects: 100 to 1

Ramirez moved up one spot from the last poll to the top three, which will put him on track to be a finalist for the fourth time. The Guardians star, who has 27 homer, 111 RBI and 72 extra baseball hits this season, finished third in the AL MVP vote in 2017 and 18 and was runner-up in 2020.

4. Jordan Alvarez, Astros
DraftKings MVP Prospects: 100 to 1

Alvarez has dealt with hand soreness this season, but he remains the best player in the first-placed Astros, with 33 homers and 1.000 OPS. All-First-Time All-Stars are also looking forward to participating in the MVP voting for the first time, and could even be in the finalists.

5. Xander Bogarts, Red Sox
DraftKings MVP Prospects: 100 to 1

Bogarts replaced teammate Raphael Devers in this poll. The Red Sox Shortstop, placed in the four-time MVP vote with the best fifth-place finish in 2019, averaged 0.317 to finish second in the AL.

Others who got votes: Julio Rodriguez, Jose Altuve, Andres Jimenez, Mike Trout, Justin Verlander, Rafael Devers, Kyle Tucker, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Alex Bregman, Dylan Cess, Beau Pechet, Emmanuel Klass

1. Paul Goldschmidt, Cardinals (47 votes in first place)
DraftKings MVP Prospects: -2500 ($2500 bet to win $100)

The story driving the NL race is whether Goldschmidt can win not only the MVP award in his first career, but also the Triple Crown. The Cardinals’ first baseman ranks in the top three in all categories of the Triple Crown — hits average, ground runs, and RBIs — and could be the first hitter to win it since Miguel Cabrera in 2012 (so could be the judge), and The first hitter in the Premier League since another Cardinal, Joe Medwick, in 1937.

2 – Nolan Arenado, Cardinals (2 votes for first place)
DraftKings MVP Prospects: 35 to 1

The Cardinals may have the best players in the league, as Arenado faces another season of MVP caliber alongside Goldschmidt. Like Goldschmidt, Arenado has never won an MVP, finishing in five of the top 10 places of his career. He has 29 home runs and 96 RBIs while playing his usual stellar defense at third base.

3. Freddy Freeman, The Dodgers
DraftKings MVP Prospects: 35 to 1

The 2020 NL MVP is back in the conversation again in his first season with the Dodgers. Freeman leads the MLB batting event with an average of 329, and his 181 hits are the most in major races. Freeman could spoil Goldschmidt’s Triple Crown show if he wins the batting title.

4. Manny Machado, Padres (1 vote for first place)
DraftKings MVP Prospects: 75 to 1

Machado has finished in the top 10 of the MVP vote four times, and in the top five three times (twice with the Orioles in the AL in 2015 and 2016, and with the Padres in the NL in 2020). Contending with Arenado for the league’s third best player title, Machado has 28 homers and 90 RBIs.

5. Mocky Pets, Dodgers
DraftKings MVP Prospects: 90 to 1

Bates and Freeman are right there with Goldschmidt and Arenado as the best 1-2 punches in the NL. The 2018 AL MVP with the Red Sox is looking for his first NL game after finishing second in 2020, and his first year with the LA Betts has already brought him a new career level in home racing with 34 and count.

Others who got votes: Austin Riley, Francisco Lindor, Pete Alonso, Sandy Alcantara, Edwin Diaz, Tria Turner, Dansby Swanson

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