Mookie Betts had a historic August as he led the Los Angeles Dodgers to an impressive 24-5 record, and it’s culminated with being named National League Player of the Month. Betts previously won NL Player of the Week for August 21-27.
Overall, it’s just the second time in Betts’ career that he’s received the honor. The first was American League Player of the Month in July 2016.
Freddie Freeman is the only other member of the Dodgers to earn NL Player of the Month honors this season when he did so for May. Prior to Freeman, Cody Bellinger was last to win the monthly honor in April 2019 en route to also taking home the NL MVP Award that season.
Betts hit .455/.516/.839 with 10 doubles, 11 home runs, 30 RBI, a .562 wOBA and 265 wRC+ while appearing in 28 of the Dodgers’ 29 games during August. He set Los Angeles franchise records with 35 runs scored and 51 total hits.
Betts became just the third player in MLB history since 1900 to have a minimum of a .450 batting average along with 50 hits and 10 home runs in a calendar month. He joined Babe Ruth (July 1923, 1924) and Lou Gehrig (June 1930).
One game in August saw Betts tie a career high with five hits. Though, technically it occurred over a two-day stretch because play was suspended against the Cleveland Guardians due to inclement weather and an aggressive grounds crew at Progressive Field.
Meanwhile, Betts has already surpassed a career high in home runs with 38, breaking last year’s mark of 35. His 1.034 on-base plus slugging percentage is tracking to be the highest in four seasons with the Dodgers.
NL MVP candidate: Mookie Betts
The otherworldly level of production thrust Betts into the NL MVP race with Atlanta Braves All-Star Ronald Acuña Jr., and they both dazzled in the series opener at Dodger Stadium on Thursday night.
However, the NL MVP race is not something Betts is focused, nor is going toe-to-toe with Acuña.
“I’m not playing against Ronald Acuña. I’m playing against the Braves,” Betts said. “We’re trying to beat the Braves. He’s great, an awesome person, take absolutely nothing away from him. But I’m not playing against him.”
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