Mookie Betts owns the Orioles

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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.

Here’s video of the home run Betts hit on Monday night.

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.

Bogaerts reportedly heading to the Padres for 11 years, $280 million

xander bogaerts
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SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Padres and Xander Bogaerts agreed to a blockbuster 11-year, $280 million contract, adding the All-Star slugger to an already deep lineup.

A person familiar with the negotiations confirmed the contract to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because it was pending a physical.

The Padres already had Fernando Tatis Jr. at shortstop, but he missed the entire season because of injuries and an 80-game suspension for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.

San Diego also met with Aaron Judge and Trea Turner before the big stars opted for different teams. The Padres reached the NL Championship Series this year before losing to the Phillies.

“From our standpoint, you want to explore and make sure we’re looking at every possible opportunity to get better,” general manager A.J. Preller said before the Bogaerts deal surfaced. “We’ve got a real desire to win and do it for a long time.”

The 30-year-old Bogaerts was one of the headliners in a stellar group of free-agent shortstops that also included Turner, Carlos Correa and Dansby Swanson.

Bogaerts, who’s from Aruba, terminated his $120 million, six-year contract with Boston after the season. The four-time All-Star forfeited salaries of $20 million for each of the next three years after hitting .307 with 15 homers and 73 RBIs in 150 games.

Bogaerts is a .292 hitter with 156 homers and 683 RBIs in 10 big league seasons – all with Boston. He helped the Red Sox win the World Series in 2013 and 2018.

Bogaerts becomes the latest veteran hitter to depart Boston after the Red Sox traded Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers in February 2020. Rafael Devers has one more year of arbitration eligibility before he can hit the market.

Bogaerts had his best big league season in 2019, batting .309 with a career-best 33 homers and 117 RBIs. He had 23 homers and 103 RBIs in 2018.

In 44 postseason games, Bogaerts is a .231 hitter with five homers and 16 RBIs.