I honestly don’t know why it’s being posed as a question anymore. It’s not a question. Yes, Mookie Betts is a legit candidate for the American League MVP award. If you disagree, then you’re wrong and you shouldn’t talk about baseball anymore. Idiot.
Whether or not he’ll actually win it remains to be seen, because this next month and a half could make or break an MVP season for a handful of players. These next seven weeks are when you have to let your nuts hang, and Mookie’s competition is nothing to shake a stick at. While Mike Trout still reigns as the best player in baseball with a 7.2 WAR, he’s playing for a last place team. All playing for playoff contenders, Betts (6.6) just leapfrogged Josh Donaldson (6.4) in WAR, and he’s creeping up on Jose Altuve (6.9), who everyone was ready to crown as the league MVP two weeks ago. Not so fuckin’ fast, buddy. Mookie Betts up in this bitch with three ding dongs, AGAIN.
The same people who question whether or not Betts is an MVP candidate are probably the same people who questioned moving him down to third in the batting order. Uh, hello? He’s the best hitter in Boston’s lineup. That’s where the best hitter hits. After his 4-for-6 day at the plate with 3 home runs, 4 runs scored and 8 RBI, Mookie leads the majors with 276 total bases, 65 extra-base hits, and he’s second in the majors in hits (154). He’s now crept up to fourth in the American League in batting (.313), third in runs (91), fourth in slugging (.561), 8th in OPS (.914), and tied for ninth with David Ortiz and four others in home runs (26).
Also, let me remind you that this is a player who was hitting .246 with a .693 OPS on May 9, and there were some people who wanted to see him dropped from the leadoff spot for sucking. Since May 10, he’s hitting .340 with a 1.003 OPS, and he was dropped from the leadoff spot for being a fucking animal. After yesterday’s performance, Betts is on pace to finish the season with 215 hits, 36 home runs, 47 doubles, score 127 runs, and drive in 117 runs. Decent.
The Mookie Betts MVP candidacy is obviously a great storyline, but here’s another one. That guy that the Red Sox kicked the shit out of yesterday? He was really close to being your ace. Not that you ended up dodging a bullet by any means, but David Price was going to the St. Louis Cardinals if the Red Sox hadn’t upped their offer to one that the left-hander couldn’t refuse. Had the Red Sox not done that, and Price went to the Cardinals, Zack Greinke would’ve had a similar offer in hand from Boston, and he more than likely would’ve been headed to the Red Sox. Dave Dombrowski was getting one or the other.
Instead, Greinke ended up with the Arizona Diamondbacks, ultimately pitching against the Red Sox, and not for them, on Sunday. It’s kinda funny how that ended up, because the Red Sox would’ve been screwed either way. To this point, Price has an ERA of 4.29, and after the ass-beating that Greinke took on Sunday in Boston, he has an ERA of 4.31 this year. But before you write off Sunday’s offensive outburst as just a great lineup beating up on a pitcher who has been struggling this season, Greinke had been 8-0 in his previous 10 starts leading up to the series finale, with an ERA of 2.47.
But let’s talk about a pitcher who’s actually been living up to his contract this season. Let’s talk about Pretty Ricky. The amount of times that Rick Porcello has lost at Fenway Park this season is identical to the amount of times that you got laid this past weekend. Zero. In 13 starts at home this year, Porcello is 12-0 with a 2.96 ERA, and 70 strikeouts in 85 innings.
He has a 3.70 ERA on the road, which is weird because opponents are hitting .224 against him in the road and .244 against him at home. It’s because he’s limited the long ball at home. He’s given up 6 homers at home, and double that on the road (12). With the win, Porcello moves to 16-3 on the season, and his seven innings of one-run ball lowered his ERA to 3.30, tying him with…Chris Sale for 10th best in the American League. He’s on pace to finish the season 22-4.
Couple quick notes:
John Farrell is an idiot Steven Wright was placed on the disabled list yesterday, because of the shoulder injury he suffered in LA as a fucking pinch runner. Would’ve been dope if they used Drew Pomeranz in that situation instead, because, you know, he just came from the National League and is used to running the bases and whatnot, but it’s all good. A DL stint for one of your best starters after a base running injury is just part of the game, right? Hanley Ramirez was placed on the bereavement list, and Roenis Elias was optioned back to Pawtucket. They’ll be replaced by infielders Deven Marrero and Marco Hernandez, and reliever Heath Hembree.
Final score: Red Sox 16, Diamondbacks 2