Those numbers combined with his performance on the mound -- Ohtani, who pitches again Sunday, owns a 3.28 ERA with 146 strikeouts in 123 1/2 innings -- give Ohtani an MLB-leading 8.5 WAR this season. He's a full win ahead of the second-place player (Zack Wheeler at 7.5 WAR) and WAR doesn't fully capture Ohtani's value because he fills two important roles (middle-of-the-order hitter and ace) while occupying just one roster spot.
Ultimately, the BBWAA and 30 AL MVP voters (two per American League city) will determine whether Ohtani is the league's MVP this year. Mike Trout, a three-time MVP himself, went to bat for Ohtani's MVP candidacy prior to Saturday's win. Here's what Trout told reporters, including MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger.
"He's the MVP," Trout said. "He's just a truly amazing talent. What Vladdy is doing over there is unbelievable, and he's in the race. His [offensive] numbers might be a little bit better than Ohtani, but then you look at Vladdy's pitching -- and I haven't seen him pitch."