Within Major League Baseball, a team is lucky to have an MVP candidate every decade or so. The case is different for many, and for the Boston Red Sox, this is the case this season. The incredible Mookie Betts and the incredible off-season acquisition J.D. Martinez form a platoon for the Red Sox, in terms of the AL MVP race. There are many players who have had an outstanding 2018 so far – but not quite the season Boston’s duo has had.
The Red Sox have put on a show through 2018, thus far, and look like they will keep doing so. A vast improvement on their playoff tactics will be needed in order to better their efforts over the last few years. But it has been a spectacular ride for Boston’s already beloved Alex Cora so far, on his return to Fenway. This is largely due to the efforts of Betts and Martinez, leading the way for the Sox.
Boston’s MVP Duo
The Acquisition of J.D.
With Martinez only decimals behind Betts in batting average, the Triple Crown is still very much a possibility for him. This is a major asset while considering the rightful MVP. But, in reality, both these players deserve to be up there in the conversation. J.D’s 104 RBI’s and 37 Home Runs (through August 13th) have been exactly what the Red Sox needed after last season. Although victorious in the AL East, there was not enough firepower in the middle of the order to challenge the likes of the Houston Astros in the post-season. Batting in the cleanup slot will bring a massive threat to anyone Boston plays, as we see the likes of Betts and Andrew Benintendi, two great on-base players, batting before him.
Betts has always been seen as a player with huge potential since he came up in 2014. Although Betts’ numbers have taken a bit of a hit due to him batting leadoff. He also missed a significant period of time through injury, but he has thrived under Cora. Despite the restricted RBI opportunities Betts has faced, he has been the most effective player in the Majors and certainly played with the most flair. With 27 Home Runs and an MLB-leading .350 batting average, as well as leading in OPS (1.106) and being in the top few in many other categories, Betts has proven that he is an MVP, and if not this year, it will be another time.
The Real MVP
When looking around the American League at other candidates, it doesn’t seem right that the MVP isn’t Betts or Martinez. Players like Jose Ramirez and Mike Trout have had fantastic seasons. There is a large pool to select the MVP from. However, Betts’ and Martinez’s consistency in doing what they have for the league’s most elite team this year has been something to savor as a baseball fan. Along with Chris Sale, Betts and Martinez have taken the Red Sox to a completely new level with their performances. It is not every year we see a team with multiple MVP candidates, and it would be very deserving if either won it.
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