Thursday, 28th September 2023

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’30-60 pace’ Acuna vs ’45 home run pace’ Betts… Where will the NL MVP go?

I thought the MVP (Most Valuable Player) would be Ronald Acuna Jr. (Atlanta Braves) anyway. However, the momentum of Mookie Betts (LA Dodgers) in August is unusual.

Betts started as the first batter and second baseman in the 2023 Major League (MLB) Boston Red Sox regular season match held at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts, USA on the 28th (Korean time), and scored 3 hits (1 home run) in 5 at-bats. He played an active part with 2 runs scored. Betts and second batter Freddie Freeman (3 hits in 5 at-bats, 1 run) led the way, and the Dodgers won 7-4 and won 2-1 winning series against Boston in 3 consecutive matches.

It’s not just a one-day activity. Betts is wielding a batting average of 0.464, an on-base percentage of 0.514, and a slugging percentage of 0.814 in August. In August alone, he hit 10 doubles and hit 8 home runs. With steady performance every month, and with the addition of August results, the season’s performance reached a batting average of 0.315, 35 homers, 93 RBIs, 10 stolen bases, 110 points and 93 RBIs. The combined OPS of on-base percentage and slugging percentage is 1.018, which is the only one over 1 in MLB along with Shohei Ohtani (LA Angels). The 35 home runs tied Betts’ personal career record last year, but at his current pace, he could hit 45 or more this season.

As Betts flared up, the composition of the National League MVP (Most Valuable Player) also changed rapidly. Until just before that, Acuña had been chosen as the 0th priority candidate. Acuña was also active this season with a batting average of 0.330, 28 homers, 59 stolen bases, 115 points and 74 RBIs, an on-base percentage of 0.413, a slugging percentage of 0.562 and an OPS of 0.975. While leading the league in stolen bases, he showed off his slugging power to hit more than 30 homers, and contact that consistently exceeded 3.3.

However, it has slowed down a bit lately. Unlike Betts, Acuña has had poor results in all of his last 15 games (0.279 batting average) and 7 games (0.276 batting average). His slugging percentage is also steadily decreasing from the last 30 games (0.529) to 15 games (0.426) and 7 games (0.379).

As the joys and sorrows were mixed, in the end, the Golden Cross occurred in the overall report card. As of the end of the game on the 28th, Betts is running first among fielders with 7.3 WAR (contribution to victory over substitute players) based on fan graphs. Second place is also not Acuna, but Betts’ teammate Freeman (6.6). Acuña stayed at 6.2, third in the National League (fourth overall) after the two.

Even after stealing 49 more bases than Betts, he was not able to produce that much, and he showed anxiety on defense. Betts scored +0.2 on the fan graph in the defensive metric, while Yacuña stayed at -9.2. This is because the right field defense was constantly unstable despite his quick feet. Even in his janggi, juru, he couldn’t run away much. He posted a +5.1, not much different from Betts’ +2.7. At bat, again, Betts posted 173 for wRC+ (a league average of 100) while Acuña stayed at 162. This means that Betts outperformed Acuna in offense by 11% compared to the league average.메이저사이트

Of course, there is still one month left. Although it is difficult for Acuña to catch up with Betts’ WAR, there is a high possibility that votes will be flocked to him, who dominates in stolen bases even if he only hits a similar WAR.

The two players will also face off on the 1st. Acuña’s team, Atlanta, is running 84-45 (0.651 win rate), 1st in the MLB overall, 1st in the National League, and 1st in the National League East, and Betts’ team, the Dodgers, is 80-49 (0.620 win rate). They are 3rd overall in the MLB, 2nd in the National League, and 1st in the National League West. The two teams will play a four-game series at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles starting on the 1st. If one of the two players locks out or plays the opposite in this series, the result could change not only the MVP’s direction but also the postseason bracket. It’s literally an ‘MVP match’.

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