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Don't Look Now: Mookie Betts Is On Fire

The former MVP is helping the Dodgers stay atop the NL West.

It's difficult to call a two-time World Series Champion and former MVP "underrated." I suppose this is what happens when one plays for the juggernaut Los Angeles Dodgers. Just saying the name "Dodgers" brings thoughts of Clayton Kershaw, newcomer Freddie Freeman, or playoff heroes like Justin Turner. Somehow amidst all those icons and future Hall of Famers, another future Hall of Famer and icon gets lost in the mix. That player is Mookie Betts. 

Mookie Being Mookie

We'll get to the hitting. Why do people keep testing the arm of Mookie?

That...was not close. This is not even the only run-saving assist from Betts in the last two weeks. Let's look at some numbers. In Betts' last seven games, he has hit 4 home runs and slashed a robust .407/.529/1000 line. That's 1.000 for slugging percentage, not OPS. An OPS over 800 is considered upper echelon, and in the last seven games, Betts has done better than that for his slugging alone. His 12 home runs make him the leader in that category in the National League. He leads all of MLB with 44 runs scored. No other player is even at 36 runs. That's a 170-run pace. This is a different Mookie than the one who started the year slashing a .171/.277/.220 slash line with no homers through his first 10 games of the season. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts sings Betts' praises.

“Over the last 30 days, it’s as good as anybody on the planet right now. It’s as good as I’ve seen him — scoring runs at a crazy clip, his on-base, he’s slugging at a ridiculous clip too, and he’s playing Gold Glove defense.”

As Mookie Goes, So Do The Dodgers

Betts always heats up as the weather does, and the Dodgers are heating up as Mookie does. Betts has now scored a run in 12 consecutive games, which is tied for the Dodger record. As a Los Angeles Dodger, only Rafael Furcal has done that before Betts. It's no coincidence that the Dodgers have won 9 of their last 10 games as Betts has caught fire. The Dodgers are 24–5 when Mookie scores this year. Ever the good leader, Betts speaks as a team leader does. 

“I think it’s about time we start doing this. It seems like we get one part of the lineup going and the rest not, but now we’ve got pretty much everybody kind of swinging it, putting together good at-bats. It shows we’re a really good team.”

Admire Mookie's MVP Bid

A 5'9 outfielder with speed, power, and elite bat-to-ball skills who also excels at being a teammate is a once-in-a-generation player. Betts signed a 12-year $365 million contract in 2020. As April slogged on and Betts struggled, many social media users were questioning whether this contract was a smart decision. Those social media users were wrong and should be sorry they said anything. Betts is leading an elite team in the standings, and watching him daily is something to be appreciated. If you watch closely enough, you may catch Betts winning another MVP award.