I thought Ronald Acuña Jr. (Atlanta Braves) was going to be the Most Valuable Player (MVP) anyway, but Mookie Betts (Los Angeles Dodgers) is on a roll in August.

Betts started at first base and went 3-for-5 with a home run, three RBIs and two runs scored in the Dodgers’ 2023 Major League Baseball (MLB) regular-season opener against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts, on Monday (Aug. 28). Behind Betts and second baseman Freddie Freeman (5-for-5, 3 RBI, 1 run scored), the Dodgers won 7-4 and took a 2-1 lead in the three-game series against Boston.

It wasn’t a one-day wonder. Betts is batting .464 with a .514 on-base percentage and .814 slugging percentage in August. He has 10 doubles and eight home runs in August alone. He’s been consistent every month, and his August performance pushes his season numbers to .315 with 35 home runs, 93 RBI, 10 doubles, 110 runs scored, and 93 runs batted in. His 1.018 OPS, which combines slugging and on-base percentage, is tied with Shohei Ohtani (Los Angeles Angels) for the highest in MLB. Betts’ 35 home runs last year tied his career record, and at his current pace, he could easily reach 45 or more this season.

As Betts has been on fire, the National League Most Valuable Player (MVP) race has changed dramatically. Until recently, Acuña had been the favorite to win the award. He too was hitting .330 with 28 home runs, 59 doubles, 115 runs scored, 74 RBI, a .413 slugging percentage, a .562 on-base percentage, and a .975 OPS this season. He led the league in stolen bases, was on pace for 30-plus homers, and consistently made over three-thirds of his contact.

However, he has cooled off a bit recently. Unlike Betts, Acuña has struggled in his last 15 games (.279 batting average) and seven games (.276 batting average). His on-base percentage has also been steadily declining, from 30 games (0.529) to 15 games (0.426) to seven games (0.379).

The mixed fortunes eventually led to a golden cross in the overall stat sheet. After 28 games, Betts leads the entire field in Wins Above Replacement (WAR) per FanGraphs at 7.3. Betts’ teammate Freeman (6.6) is second, not Acuña. Behind the duo, Acuña is third in the National League (fourth overall) at 6.2.

Despite stealing 49 more bases than Betts, he didn’t generate the same amount of productivity, and he showed signs of insecurity on defense. While Betts had a +0.2 FanGraphs defensive rating, Yacunya was at -9.2. Despite his quick feet, he was consistently shaky in right field. He also didn’t make much of an impact on the basepaths. At +5.1, he wasn’t much better than Betts at +2.7. At the plate, Betts had a wRC+ (adjusted run production, calculated with 100 as league average) of 173, while Acuña was at 162. That’s an 11% offensive advantage over league average for Betts.카지노사이트

Of course, we still have a month to go. Even if Acuña doesn’t catch Betts’ WAR, a similar WAR would be enough to sway the vote in favor of his stolen base advantage.

The two players also face off against each other on April 1. Acuña’s Atlanta is 84-45 (.651 winning percentage), first in the MLB, first in the National League, and first in the National League East, while Betts’ Dodgers are 80-49 (.620 winning percentage), third in the MLB, second in the National League, and first in the National League West. The two teams begin a four-game series at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on April 1, and a shutout by one of them – or the other – could change the course of the MVP race and the postseason bracket. It’s literally an MVP matchup.

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