As the Wild Card round kicked off Tuesday, the Dodgers are enjoying a few days off before their own postseason journey begins.
The Dodgers will face off against the winner of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Milwaukee Brewers, with the first game of the NLDS on Saturday.
In the meantime, the debate around the National League Most Valuable Player award continues. It is unlikely that anyone will topple Atlanta’s Ronald Acuna Jr., who is such a heavy favorite that most sportsbooks have stopped accepting wagers.
But if anyone shocks the world and takes the award from Acuna Jr., it would be Mookie Betts, who has proven to be one of MLB’s best players this season.
Betts has hit 39 home runs and 107 RBIs with a .307 batting average while also proving his elite prowess as a defender in multiple positions.
His versatility is exactly why Dodgers manager Dave Roberts believes he should be the MVP.
“It’s the versatility piece,” Roberts said.” I think that to be able to be a Gold-Glove right fielder, to play Gold-Glove second base, to go from the outfield grass to the dirt, really doesn’t happen.”(Via “The Show” podcast)
Betts spent the majority of the season (107 games) as an outfielder, sporting a 1.000 fielding percentage and totaling 141 putouts. In 70 games at second base, Betts accounted for 33 double plays and had 2 errors compared to 136 assists and 87 putouts. At shortstop, he had 3 errors and 4 double plays across 16 games.
Because of his ability to play a range of positions, he was able to adapt based on the most productive lineup on a given night.
“To be able to do that, to still be able to hit 39 homers, score 100 runs, drive in 100 runs,” Roberts said. “If it’s the Most Valuable Player on the team, Mookie Betts’ ability to play on the dirt allows for Jason Heyward to play, who had a .900 OPS this year. So we’re just not the same team.(Via “The Show” podcast)
Photo Credit: Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports
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