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Ohtani 'enjoying' MVP battle with Judge

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Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani has become a fan of his biggest obstacle to taking home a second straight AL MVP - New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge.

Ohtani and Judge have put together remarkable seasons, and Ohtani admitted he's enjoying the competition with the slugger.

"I feel like you guys are more of an expert on the voting, the writers, so I'll leave it up to you guys," Ohtani said of the MVP race, according to's Rhett Bollinger. "But I'm definitely enjoying it. I enjoy watching Judge. I watched him hit 61. Just as a baseball fan, it's great watching him do his thing."

Ohtani finished four outs shy of recording his first career no-hitter during Thursday's game against the Oakland Athletics. Judge, meanwhile, tied the American League record with his 61st home run of the season earlier this week against the Toronto Blue Jays.

After putting together one of the most unique and impressive campaigns in MLB history en route to the 2021 MVP, Ohtani said he believes he's been even better this season.

"I definitely feel like this season is better overall," Ohtani said. "My pitching numbers are better, and I'm just playing with more confidence after experiencing last year. I know I won MVP last year, but I feel like I'm having a better season this year."

The 28-year-old owns an .888 OPS with 34 home runs and 94 RBIs in 561 at-bats as a hitter while posting a 2.35 ERA and 11.91 K/9 across 161 innings (27 starts) as a pitcher in 2022.

Ohtani 'enjoying' MVP battle with Judge
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