Two Dodgers have been playing on another level this season.
Outfielder Mookie Betts, who also showed his ability to play the infield this season, is batting .312, has hit 39 home runs, has 103 RBIs and has an OPS of 1.019 — all of which rank in the top 10 of all Major League Baseball players. His defensive wins above replacement is set at 0.8 for his play at second base, shortstop and in right field. The Dodgers’ star has hit 12 leadoff homers, proving to provide a quick spark for the Dodgers all season long.
First basemen Freddie Freeman, who the Dodgers signed in free agency before the 2022 season, has also excelled. His batting average (.337) and OPS (.990) rank in the top six of all MLB players and he has added 26 homers and 93 RBIs.
To have both players playing on the same team is a luxury that the Dodgers have enjoyed for two seasons, and both have been a key reason behind their continued success as the team gets ready for October.
But only one can win the National League Most Valuable Player award. And right now, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts is vouching for Betts.
“Mookie’s having a tremendous year,” Roberts said. “It’s not hard to say Mookie’s the Most Valuable Player. But I have a hard time because I think that people look at the numbers solely, but the numbers of what Freddie is doing — the runs scored, the runs batted in, the doubles, all that he brings to our club — I’m telling you, he is right there with Mookie for me. But I think Mookie’s ability to come in and play on the dirt, which gave runway to Jason Heyward to play right field, I feel good about saying I’d give him the slight nod.”
(Via SportsNet LA)
However, while both Freeman and Betts sit in the top three favorites for the award, it is the Atlanta Braves’ Ronald Acuna Jr. who has sat at the top of the standings all season long. Acuna Jr. is currently a heavy favorite to win the award, but Roberts thinks Betts has the edge.
“I hope that the people that have the votes take [Bett’s defensive play] into account,” Roberts said. “A guy that can come from one position and play Gold Glove, to play Gold Glove at another position to then create length in your lineup to make your offense one of the better ones in baseball, is huge value.”
(Via SportsNet LA)
Betts and Freeman have 17 more games to catch up to Acuna to win baseball’s top award.
Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
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