The Los Angeles Dodgers have been one of the best teams in MLB despite a lack of production from some of their biggest superstars.
Corey Seager was shelved for months with a fractured hand. Cody Bellinger battled injuries early on and has been a nightmare at the plate this season.
Clayton Kershaw has been out since July 7 with elbow inflammation, and Mookie Betts has battled nagging hip/back injuries and hasn’t produced like Dodgers fans know he’s capable of when he’s been in the lineup. He’s still been very good, just not MVP level.
Luckily for the Dodgers, however, it feels like Betts has turned a corner just in time for the stretch run of the regular season.
In Tuesday’s win over the Braves, which helped pull the Dodgers within a half-game of the Giants in the division, Betts hit a no-doubter of a home run and robbed Travis D’Arnaud of his own HR in the second inning.
Mookie Betts is coming alive at a perfect time for the Dodgers.
Betts had his fingerprints all over this one-run game. Not only did he hit a mammoth home run and rob D’Arnaud, but he also scored the go-ahead run from first on a Seager double in the bottom of the eighth.
Not many players in the league would’ve scored on that play, as Betts sprinted at 27.5 feet per second. His speed clearly panicked Dansby Swanson, who mishandled the relay. That’s the kind of five-tool superstar Betts is, and we’ve only seen it in spurts this season, though that can be attributed to injury.
The bottom line is that Betts finally looks fully healthy and that’s huge news for the Dodgers as they enter the final month of the regular season. In the month of August, Betts slashed .289/.400/.684 with five homers, six RBI and 11 runs scored.
While he started off slow after he was activated off the IL last week, Betts has shown signs of life over the last two games, going 2-for-6 with two home runs, two RBI, two walks, zero strikeouts and three runs scored.
If Betts is healthy and impacting games at the plate, with his defense and on the base paths, we suddenly feel a lot better about the Dodgers chances to chase down San Francisco in the NL West standings.
Speaking of which, the Giants have lost three games in a row and will visit Betts and the Dodgers in Los Angeles for a massive three-game series starting on Friday.
For the Dodgers’ sake, let’s hope Betts uses this resurgence as a springboard into the Giants series and for the remainder of the regular season.