Jose Altuve tops Aaron Judge to win AL MVP Award

Judge finished 126 points shy of Altuve, who received 27 first-place votes

Aaron Judge was the unanimous winner of the American League's Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award, but the 6-foot-7 slugger came up just short in the race for AL MVP, finishing second to diminutive Astros second baseman Jose Altuve in balloting conducted by 30 members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

Altuve, who finished third in AL MVP voting last year, earned 27 of 30 first-place votes and three second-place votes for 405 total points. Runner-up Judge earned two of the other three first-place votes, 27 second-place nods, and one third-place vote to finish with 279 points, coming up 126 shy of becoming the third player in MLB history to win his league's Rookie of the Year and MVP Awards in the same season.

And, less than an hour after the announcement, the ever-gracious Judge took to Twitter to congratulate Altuve on the honor.

With great cases for both, it was assumed the race between Judge and Altuve would be a close one, but the nail-biter turned out to be in the National League, where Miami's Giancarlo Stanton beat out Cincinnati's Joey Votto by just two points - marking the fourth-closest race in MVP Award history - to earn his first National League MVP Award.

As far as the rest of the AL ballot, Cleveland's Jose Ramirez finished third with 239 points, earning the remaining first-place vote and a majority 22 third-place nods. Angels outfielder Mike Trout, who won last year's MVP, finished fourth, falling out of the top two in voting after five consecutive seasons as the winner or runner-up, while Cleveland's Francisco Lindor placed fifth to give the Indians two in the Top 5. 

MVP ballots contain 10 spots, and a player earns 14 points for a first-place vote, nine for a second place vote, eight for a third-place vote, and one less point on down per spot (seven for fourth-place on down to one for tenth-place).

In all, 24 AL players received votes, including two other Yankees; shortstop Didi Gregorius earned four points - an eighth-place and a tenth-place vote - to tie Cleveland's Edwin Encarnacion for 19th, and catcher Gary Sanchez earned one tenth-place nod to tie Oakland's Khris Davis and Toronto's Josh Donaldson for 22nd.