Angels' MVP duo heating up at the same time

September 10th, 2022

This story was excerpted from Rhett Bollinger’s Angels Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

Angels superstars Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani are heating up at the same time.

They both homered in the same game on Wednesday, marking the eighth time this season and the 22nd time overall that they have gone deep in the same game. Trout, a three-time AL MVP and 10-time All-Star, and Ohtani, the reigning AL MVP, have both been on hot streaks at the plate.

Trout said on Wednesday that he and Ohtani enjoy pushing each other as hitters. Ohtani, who has 33 homers in 133 games as a hitter and has a 2.58 ERA with 181 strikeouts in 136 innings as a pitcher, remains in a race with Aaron Judge for the AL MVP Award. Trout is also at 33 blasts after homering in his fifth straight game Friday, but he has played in just 98 games after missing a little more than a month with his upper back/rib cage injury.

“A lot of people, especially the last couple of days, they’re saying we're pushing each other for the [team] home run lead,” Trout said. “I think that’s pretty cool. I'm not trying to go up there and hit a home run, and he isn't, either. It’s just having good at-bats and putting good swings on balls.”

This is the first time that Trout and Ohtani have reached 30 homers in the same season, as Ohtani hit 46 blasts last year, but Trout was limited to just eight in 36 games because of a season-ending calf strain suffered in mid-May.

When Trout was asked what the key is to a hot streak at the plate, he shrugged and said, “It just happens.”