, The first Team of the Week of the second half is led by none other than Yankees star Aaron Judge. Ben Verlander breaks it down.,

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By Ben VerlanderFOX Sports MLB Analyst

Coming out of the All-Star break, nobody has been better than Yankees slugger Aaron Judge

In five games to finish the week, Judge hit four home runs and recorded 11 RBIs. In total, he went 9-for-19.

Judge is having a historic season after turning down the Yankees’ massive contract offer, and he has put himself in great position to make a lot of money this winter. 

With 37 home runs and a 62-homer pace, Judge is tracking to break the Yankees’ single-season home run record, held by Roger Maris with 61. Judge had an unbelievable first half of the 2022 season, and this past week showed that he has no plans to slow down.

Astros’ Yordan Álvarez and Yankees’ Aaron Judge headline Team of the Week

The first Team of the Week of the second half is led by the Yankees’ Aaron Judge, the Astros’ Justin Verlander and Yordan Álvarez, and the Dodgers’ Mookie Betts.

Watch “Flippin’ Bats with Ben Verlander” on YouTube, or subscribe on podcast platforms, including Apple Podcasts.

Welcome to the MLB Team of the Week, where I highlight players who had standout performances over the past seven days. 

C Christian Vazquez, Red Sox

Vazquez hit .444 on the week with two home runs and was the only bright spot for the Red Sox. When Vasquez scores this season, the Sox are 16-7.

1B Paul Goldschmidt, Cardinals

Goldschmidt and Freddie Freeman had similar numbers this week, with both hitting .444 with two homers. It was Goldschmidt’s homer in the All-Star Game that pushed him over the top for me. The NL MVP front-runner has been phenomenal this season. 

2B DJ LeMahieu, Yankees

LeMahieu had a hit in every game he played this week and finished batting .500 with a homer. He’s currently in the middle of an eight-game hitting streak and a 12-game on-base streak.

MLB Power Rankings: Astros, Yankees and Dodgers lead Ben’s list

Ben Verlander gives us his latest MLB Power Rankings, with the Astros overtaking the Yankees for the No. 1 spot.

3B Austin Riley, Braves

Not many teams are hotter than the Braves, and not many players have been hotter than Riley. He hit .545 this week, with a home run and two RBIs. He’s on a 16-game hitting streak, the best active streak in MLB.

SS Nico Hoerner, Cubs

Hoerner is one of five MLB shortstops hitting .300 or better, along with Jose Iglesias, Trea Turner, Tim Anderson and Xander Bogaerts. This week, Hoerner improved his season average by going 5-for-14 (.357) with a home run and four RBIs.

OF Mookie Betts, Dodgers 

Betts hit career home run No. 200 last week and tacked on another for good measure. In the Dodgers’ series against the Giants, he had a massive, eighth-inning, three-run homer and ended the game with a beautiful, diving play in right field.

Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman and the Dodgers’ dominance

Ben Verlander talks about the Dodgers’ dominance, with a double-digit lead in the NL West despite missing Walker Buehler and Daniel Hudson, and how Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman and Justin Turner have stepped up.

OF Hunter Renfroe, Brewers

Renfroe had a home run in every game of the weekend series, hitting .385. On the week, he tallied seven RBIs to go with two homers. The Brew Crew desperately need his offensive production in the lineup. 

DH Yordan Alvarez, Astros

Alvarez missed a bit of time before the break due to a hand injury. Then he homered in his first two games back and hit .333 on the week, with five RBIs. Alvarez leads MLB in slugging percentage (.668) and OPS (1.075).

SP Justin Verlander, Astros

On Saturday in Seattle, Verlander threw seven innings, struck out nine and consistently hit 99 mph in the seventh, which is the hardest he has thrown since 2017. Verlander now has five consecutive starts allowing one or zero earned runs.

Houston Astros are still the team to beat in the American League

Ben Verlander dives into the Astros’ hot streak, including sweeping the Yankees, ending the Mariners’ winning streak and great performances by Justin Verlander and Yordan Alvarez.

RP Jordan Romano, Blue Jays

Romano leads the American League with 21 saves after shutting the door twice in the past week. He threw 2.1 innings, didn’t allow a hit or run and struck out three batters.

Ben Verlander is an MLB Analyst for FOX Sports and the host of the “Flippin’ Bats” podcast. Born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, Verlander was an All-American at Old Dominion University before he joined his brother, Justin, in Detroit as a 14th-round pick of the Tigers in 2013. He spent five years in the Tigers organization. Follow him on Twitter @BenVerlander.

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