Los Angeles Dodgers superstar Mookie Betts’ month-long pursuit of presumed National League MVP Ronald Acuna Jr. may not result in winning his first NL MVP award, but going forward there is potential for Mookie to accomplish something just as special on the game’s largest stage.
Mookie Makes History
On Saturday Mookie took home one of the most unique achievements in MLB history for a leadoff hitter.
His 105th RBI this season is the most ever from the top of the lineup, eclipsing Colorado Rockies center fielder Charlie Blackmon’s record of 104 RBI that was set in 2017.
“There’s been a lot of great leadoff hitters, and for him to be No.1 is pretty remarkable,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. “It seems like every night we’re eclipsing milestones as individuals.”
The record comes on top of a season that has seen Mookie do it all for the Dodgers at the plate, especially since the All-Star break.
Over his last 30 games, Betts is slashing .360/.474/,622 with 7 homers, 21 RBI and 22 walks. His power has been on another level, despite coming up missing during this year’s Home Run Derby.
His 39 bro bombs mark the third time he has reached the 30+ milestone, and one more will put him at 40 for the first time ever.
Now on most teams, a bat like this would almost automatically be placed in the cleanup spot, but as we all know, the Dodgers haven’t been “normal” in quite some time. This team is a juggernaut with hitters everywhere, and Betts is the head of the snake.
The Dodgers have clinched a first-round bye in the postseason and look headed for another NLCS collision with the Braves. If Betts can manage to lead them past Atlanta, not only would it avenge his (assumed) MVP loss, it sets the stage for something much bigger.
World Series MVP In Two Leagues
Throughout the storied history of Major League Baseball, there has never been a player to win a World Series MVP in both leagues. His teammate Freddie Freeman could complicate his quest for this first. However, there is one thing that would give Betts the upper hand in this predicament.
After already establishing himself as one of the best defensive outfielders in the game, Betts’ ability to play the infield has helped the Dodgers through injuries while also adding new strategic options into Roberts’ bag.
Mookie flashed a lot of leather Sunday while playing second in their series finale against division rival San Francisco, making two fantastic diving stops on back-to-back plays to end the inning. Given the number of injuries to the Dodgers pitching staff, plays like this are exactly what LA will need to keep things close for their dynamic offense.
With a performance like that, history may not be too far out of reach.