3 reasons Mookie Betts will win NL MVP over Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado
Mookie Betts moving to the West coast in AL was a big surprise to many baseball pundits as he experienced instant success with his former team, the Boston Red Sox. A 2018 AL MVP, numerous Gold Gloves, and Silver Slugger awards were just some of Betts’ impressive awards, but he was still shipped to LA because the Red Sox did want to commit gigantic long-term money.
Betts was well loved in Boston, but the Dodgers were the ones willing to reward him with the 12-year, $365 million extension. In his third year in LA, Betts is in contention for another MVP, but this time in the NL. Here are the reasons why Mookie Betts will win his 2nd MVP, this time in the National League.
Dodgers are on pace for over 110 wins
Winning an MVP award is not just all about the stats. If an individual is performing tremendously in a struggling team, that would not help his case in claiming that award. For Mookie Betts, he is on the best team in the MLB that is on pace for over 110 wins as they have already clinched the NL West crown.
Despite the serious injuries to guys like Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw, the problems have not persisted in the regular season. One reason would be the exceptional performance of Mookie Betts. He has been the leader who is present every day as Betts has been arguably the best table-setter or leadoff hitter in the whole league.
First in runs scored
Building off the previous reason, Mookie Betts is the perfect leadoff hitter for any team. Hitting through contact and finding the opening all over the field has been a massive asset for Betts. Being in scoring position for guys like Will Smith, Freddie Freeman, and Trea Turner has been vital for LA.
Being in a star-studded squad has been fantastic for Mookie Betts, as he has thrived incredibly in this role. It is not just in the runs scored because Betts has racked up 34 homers also, which has contributed enormously to the environment in the Dodgers organization.
Unique approach when he is on the plate
A foot injury earlier this season was a large blow to the season of Mookie Betts. He was struggling already before the injury, but when he returned from a short stint in the IL, he has been exceptional. because of his varied approach in being more aggressive with balls within the strike zone.
Betts wastes no time in giving pitchers time to set up their off-speed pitches as he has smashed homers early in the count. Furthermore, Mookie Betts’ teammates have been encouraging even with his early season struggles, such as Freddie Freeman and Trea Turner.
The turnaround has been spectacular for Mookie Betts. For MVP voters, recency bias can be a factor in their preference, so having Betts escalate his play to a higher level in the latter part of the season would be beneficial to him. With a .905 OPS with a World Series crown in sight, this can be another MVP season in sight for the superstar outfielder, Mookie Betts.