Mookie Betts Reiterates ‘Comfort’ Level In Leadoff Spot Of Dodgers Lineup

When the Los Angeles Dodgers completed their blockbuster trade with the Boston Red Sox to acquire Mookie Betts and David Price, it was under the cloud of the 2018 American League MVP possibly being a one-year rental.

Then the Dodgers faced a reality of Betts potentially never wearing their uniform as the prospect of a 2020 season was thrown into a world of uncertainty amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and labor dispute between Major League Baseball and the Players Association.

Not only were matters eventually resolved, but Betts signed a 12-year contract extension on the eve of Opening Day in July. He raved about the organization and quickly finding comfort in what would be home for the remainder of his career.

However, that didn’t immediately translate on the field. Despite Betts publicly voicing his preference to bat leadoff, he often hit second through the first few weeks of the season. After hitting three home runs from the leadoff spot on Aug. 13, Betts was cemented atop the Dodgers lineup for good.

He went 3-for-7 with three doubles, three RBI and one walk as the Dodgers swept the Milwaukee Brewers in the Wild Card Series. Betts delivered a key extra-base hit in both games, batting atop the lineup.

“I think it’s just more comfortable in the leadoff spot, knowing that I don’t have to look at the lineup,” he said after the Dodgers defeated the Brewers in Game 2. “I know where I’m hitting and playing, so that was just a comfort thing.”

Betts’ immediate impact in the postseason met expectations the Dodgers had upon completing the trade. “He competes, he makes the pitcher work. Everything about him, I love. He came up big for us [Wednesday] night with a couple doubles and then tonight another double, which gave a lot of separation. He’s definitely as good as advertised,” manager Dave Roberts said.

Seager forming potent duo with Betts

Coinciding with Betts being locked in at the the top of the Dodgers lineup has been Corey Seager taking firm hold of the two spot.

“You’d be hard-pressed to find a better one-two in baseball,” Roberts said.

Seager, ever the humble personality, deflected attention he and Betts have received, noting depth Dodgers have throughout their lineup.

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