The reigning AL MVP was recognized for his outstanding season with a second straight MVP nomination. Ohtani will be up against Aaron Judge and Yordan Alvarez for that award.
Surprisingly, Ohtani was not a finalist for the AL Cy Young Award. Dylan Cease, Alek Manoah, and Justin Verlander are the finalists for that award.
Shohei Ohtani gets well deserved recognition for another season for the ages.
Ohtani likely will not win a second consecutive AL MVP Award. He had his typical great offensive season while looking as good as he's ever been on the mound. I believe Ohtani's season in 2022 was even better than his MVP year because of how dominant of a pitcher he was.
Ohtani went 15-9 with a 2.33 ERA in 28 starts. He set career highs in just about every category and qualified for the ERA title for the first time in his career thanks to his 166 innings pitched.
All three AL Cy Young finalists had outstanding years. Verlander, the likely winner, had a sub-2.00 ERA at age 39 after missing two years. Manoah and Cease both broke out and proved that they are elite aces moving forward.
In my opinion, Ohtani had the edge over Manoah this season. Manoah did make three more starts and threw more innings with a lower ERA, but Ohtani was more dominant on the mound.
Ohtani led the league striking out 11.9 batters per nine. Manoah was at 8.2. He relied a lot more on the Blue Jays defense which ranked eighth in the majors with 43 DRS. The Angels were 17th with 8 DRS.
The fact that Ohtani did not rely on his defense means his FIP would definitely be lower than Manoah's. It ended up being much lower. Manoah had a 3.35 FIP while Ohtani's FIP was almost a full run lower at 2.40. Ohtani's bWAR as a pitcher was 6.2 compared to Manoah's 5.9.
It definitely is close, but Ohtani should have been a finalist. Either way, Ohtani had an unbelievable year for the Angels and being an MVP finalist is cool enough for me.