LOS ANGELES – The All-Star starters were announced on June 29th, and for the fourth time in his career, Mookie Betts is getting the nod.
After a bit of a slow start to the season for Mookie’s standards, he’s starting to look like his usual self. He batted over .300 for the month of June and has been on an absolute tear in his last seven games, batting .455 with four home runs and 11 RBI, a .559 on-base percentage and a 1.227 slugging percentage.
Overall this season, the Dodgers’ five-tool player has a slashline of .271/.372/.927, with 22 home runs, 56 RBI, and has scored 64 runs, one short of the team lead, which is held by fellow All-Star starter Freddie Freeman. He’s Top 5 in the league in homers and. OPS.
Shortly after the All-Star starting lineup was revealed, Betts confirmed that for the first time in his career he would be participating in the Home Run Derby, competing against the likes of Vlad Guerrero Jr., Randy Arozarena, Pete Alonso, and the hometown hero in Julio Rodriguez.
Betts has had one of the best careers of any player over the last decade. He’s been an MVP, a World Series champion twice, has played in the World Baseball Classic, has won a bunch of Gold Gloves and Silver Sluggers, the list goes on. He’s done everything, well, almost everything.
“It’s [the Home Run Derby] the last thing I haven’t done,” Betts said on participating for the first time in his 10-year career. “My wife kind of compared it to LeBron not doing the dunk contest. And that’s not a knock or anything, but she just feels like for what I’m trying to do in baseball, bring awareness to Black culture, I should probably be more involved.”
Apart from all the exciting events scheduled for Betts and a few of his teammates, there is still a lot of work for them to do this season. They’re 46-37, which is good, but nowhere near as dominant as we’ve been accustomed to seeing. Over the past decade, the Dodgers have been kings of the NL West, winning it in 10 of the past 11 seasons.
However, it has not been as easy as previous seasons, as they’re currently three games back of one of the most surprising teams in baseball, the Arizona Diamondbacks, and are tied with their archrivals in the San Francisco Giants for the second NL Wild Card spot.
The Dodgers have six games to go before the All-Star break, a four-game series against the Pirates, and a two-game crosstown showdown against the Angels. It’s not a difficult stretch by any means, and all their games are at home.
The D-Backs don’t have a tough last six games either, so these games will be crucial for the boys in blue to at least stay within striking distance of the top. If this past week was any indicator, you can definitely count on Mookie to do everything he can to make sure this last week entering the all-Star break is a good one.