Mookie Betts has been piling up the numbers early in the 2018 Major League Baseball season, while also displaying solid defensive skills on the field. On Thursday, Betts had another strong day in Boston’s 6-2 victory over American League East rivals the Baltimore Orioles.
Betts was 3-for-4, with three stolen bases and a pair of runs scored. Betts raised his batting average to .364 and slugging percentage to .734. The Red Sox star is now on pace to hit 48 home runs, 59 doubles, score 169 runs and steal 41 bases.
Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout has started the season very strongly but has not put up the numbers Betts has through the first 40-plus games of the season. Thus far, Trout is batting .290 with a slugging percentage of .600. He is on pace to hit 44 home runs, 29 doubles, score 125 runs and steal 29 bases.
It is difficult to compare numbers after only a quarter of the regular season had been played, especially with the long hot days and nights of summer ahead, but since this is only an early look, the stats clearly show Betts holds an advantage.
Betts is leading in batting average and slugging percentage by large margins of .364 to .290 and .734 to .600 respectively.
Of course, some baseball pundits will tell you Betts has the advantage of playing half his regular season games at Fenway Park, which is considered a hitter’s park more so than Angel Stadium in California is. Others lean toward Trout more due to playing a tougher position on defense and having a plus-6 on Defensive Runs versus Betts’ plus-2.
However, the defensive side of the equation can easily been overcome by the large leads in offensive categories Betts currently holds over Trout at this point in the season.
At this juncture of the season with Betts putting up numbers like 13 home runs, 28 RBIs, .438 OBP, 56 hits, 16 doubles, 1 triple and 11 stolen bases he is the American League MVP frontrunner with Mike Trout a not so close second.
Others American League players likely to be in the mix when the season winds through the summer and into fall will be Cleveland’s Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez and New York’s Aaron Judge.