Dodgers: Mookie Betts’ struggles against lefties are a serious problem
Mookie Betts cannot hit lefties in 2020 and that’s a big problem for the Dodgers.
The entire Los Angeles Dodgers lineup was stymied by Atlanta Braves ace Max Fried on Monday night and it brought attention to Mookie Betts’ troubles against left-handed pitching in 2020.
Betts went 0-for-4 on the night, and faced Fried for three at-bats and lefty reliever Will Smith for the other. Though he put a charge into one of Fried’s pitches, he flew out at the wall, which didn’t help improve his numbers.
For some odd reason, Betts is slashing a dismal .185/.302/.204 vs lefties in 2020, and that’s not even based off an extremely small sample size. It’s across 28 games and 63 plate appearances.
The good news? This is WAY off his career slash line of .296/.378/.509 against LHP, so this isn’t exactly a concern for the long-term. It is, however, an immediate issue for the postseason, because the Braves will have Fried pitching at least one more time in this series, plan to use Smith a lot more in such matchups, and still have effective arms in AJ Minter and Tyler Matzek to deploy.
And if the Dodgers happen to advance and face the Tampa Bay Rays or Houston Astros in the World Series, you know both Kevin Cash and Dusty Baker will use this to their advantage. You can bet Tampa will especially do so, given their top strength is their arsenal of pitching.
Dodgers fans don’t have to worry about this lasting for years, but given the bad luck this team has had in the postseason since 2013, whether it’s been running into the wrong team or watching one of its typically-reliable players falter when it mattered most, this could potentially define another inexplicable chapter of playoff failure for LA.
But everyone knows we won’t be able to stomach that again in 2020, so, at the very least, the rest of this high-powered offense will have to pick Betts up if this isn’t fixed over the next couple of weeks.