Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts broke a scoreless tie in the third inning of Monday night’s game against the Orioles, sending a 2-0 Dylan Bundy fastball into the left field seats at Camden Yards. It’s his 31st home run and he now has 108 RBI and a .315 average as well — numbers eerily similar to DH David Ortiz, his teammate.
What’s even more striking is how badly Betts has owned the Orioles this season. Entering Monday’s action, Betts had a .318/.426/.825 triple-slash line with eight home runs and 19 RBI in 68 plate appearances against the Orioles this season. Isolating for games played at Camden Yards, Betts carried a .500/.571/1.375 triple-slash line with seven home runs and 13 RBI in 28 plate appearances. You can do the math to add tonight’s performance.
Betts has a very real chance to take home the American League Most Valuable Player Award. Mike Trout is the runaway favorite going by Wins Above Replacement, but some voters will discredit him because the Angels aren’t in a playoff race. Josh Donaldson has been banged up and slumping. Jose Altuve has been slumping. Manny Machado has similar numbers, but Betts has 24 stolen bases to Machado’s zero.
The Red Sox came into Monday’s action with a three-game lead over the Orioles for first place in the AL East. Betts chose the right team to antagonize.