Jamie Gatlin | July 29th, 2019
Over the past month, the Red Sox have arguably played their best baseball of the season. Although they have gotten contributions up and down the lineup, nobody has been better than Mookie Betts. After struggling early on the defending American League MVP has been a different player of late. His bat has awoken at the perfect time as the Red Sox make their playoff push. With Betts regaining his stroke at the plate, the Red Sox offense which was already baseballs best has become even more dangerous.
Entering July Betts was coming off his worst month of the season. In June he hit .217 dropping his average on the season to .261. The former first-round pick seemed lost at the plate as the Red Sox fell behind in the playoff picture. The Nashville native, however, has seemingly put those struggles behind him.
Over his last thirty games, Betts is hitting .331 with an OBP of .414. He already has five home runs this month including three against the Yankees Friday night. Betts has driven in seventeen runs in July which nearly doubles his total from June. While Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers have carried this team so far, now it’s Mookies turn.
Due to Betts recent stretch, his numbers are starting to mirror what the Red Sox were expecting. Over the Red Sox past 25 games Betts has reached base in 24 of them. In that span, his average has risen from .261 to .284. This team is at it’s best when their right fielder is a catalyst from the top of the lineup like he has been over the past month.
Although Betts has excelled in the second half, his early-season struggles are partly due to his performance against lefties. After hitting over .300 against them last season that has dropped to below .250 this year. That is why his performance Friday night against James Paxton was so important.
Even though the Red Sox offense, has been the best in baseball it has at times been the most frustrating. The top of the lineup has constantly been reshuffled to find the right combination. The Red Sox began the season with Betts in the two spot but have moved him back to leadoff where he spent all of last season.
Despite Betts slow start, he is making up for that quickly. After leading all of baseball in runs scored last year he is tops in that category so far this year. Betts could also still reach the thirty home run plateau for the second consecutive season or at the very least get close.
This season may not have begun how he envisioned but so far in the second half, Betts is writing a different ending.
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