Aaron Judge vs. Shohei Ohtani: How to compare two radically different MVP contenders

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Judge is chasing one of the most revered numbers in sports: 60 home runs in a season, doing it while wearing the same pinstriped uniform as Babe Ruth when the Sultan of Swat first accomplished the feat in 1927. Judge is doing this in an era when pitchers are throwing harder than ever, when getting a base hit is harder than it's been in five decades, in a season in which no other player is close to his home run total. If he gets there, it will be a historic season.

Shohei Ohtani is chasing only his own impossible goals: to star as both pitcher and hitter, something no player has done in the major leagues since Bullet Joe Rogan in the Negro Leagues in the 1920s and Ruth with the Red Sox more than 100 years ago. Ohtani is doing this in an era when players are bigger and stronger than ever, and even Ruth, who does fit that category, did it for only a short time before switching to full-time Sultan. Ohtani did it last season and he's doing it again -- back-to-back historic seasons.

It should be an MVP race for the ages, but instead it feels like, barring injury, Judge has the award wrapped up. Maybe he should have it locked up: Judge leads Ohtani in WAR, he leads in narrative, and the Yankees are in first place while the Angels -- once again -- will finish with a losing record.