The Los Angeles Dodgers clinched the NL West on Tuesday, and to sweeten the deal, they’re also well on their way to clinching the best record in baseball this season.
Superstar outfielder Mookie Betts has had a huge hand in the team’s success.
He’s having a phenomenal season and is showing no signs of slowing down.
But with the 2022 playoffs approaching, there’s an interesting question that’s worth considering: Does Betts still have to prove himself as a good playoff performer?
Although he’s already won two World Series rings in his career, his playoff production hasn’t really been up to par with his regular season production throughout his career.
Will that change this year?
Betts’ Playoff Resume
Let’s make one thing clear: Betts hasn’t been a bad playoff performer throughout his career by any means.
He’s been extremely serviceable, and in certain postseasons, he’s been great.
In the 2020 playoffs, for example, he batted .296 with an OPS of .871, and in that year’s World Series, he smacked two home runs en route to a series OPS of .898.
The Dodgers, of course, won it all that season.
However, many of Betts’ other postseason showings haven’t been as impressive, and as a result, he holds a .272 batting average and .758 OPS across his entire playoff career.
Again, those are fine numbers, but they pale in comparison to his career stats in the regular season (.294 batting average and .892 OPS).
The 29-year-old is undoubtedly one of the best players in baseball, but it seems like he still has room for growth when it comes to being a great playoff performer.
Time will tell if he puts that storyline to sleep in the 2022 postseason.
Betts’ 2022 Season At A Glance
As mentioned, Betts has had an outstanding regular season.
He’s slashing .275/.348/.558 (.905 OPS) and has an OPS+ of 143.
He has racked up a career-high 34 home runs, and he also has 34 doubles and three triples to his credit.
Mookie smashed his 34th HR 💣⚾️ of the season 🔥 pic.twitter.com/AtKxkpc3LQ
— Richard Aller (@RichardAller2) September 13, 2022
Moreover, he has an impressive bWAR of 6.1, which is a number that will certainly go up before the season ends.
Mookie Betts is unreal 😭pic.twitter.com/5aJYRn2NfG
— J (@JDodgersLA) September 14, 2022
Although he won’t win the award, Betts is on track to receive MVP votes for the seventh time in his MLB career.
The six-time All-Star won the AL MVP award in the 2018 campaign, but this season, he’d likely be more than happy to take home his third World Series title instead.
With less than a month remaining in the regular season, it won’t be long before the title journey begins.
The Road Ahead For L.A.
The Dodgers have 21 games left in the regular season.
They still have something to play for as far as home-field advantage in the postseason is concerned, but L.A. will likely be able to lock up the best record in baseball without breaking a sweat.
The Dodgers are 98-43 currently and have a healthy lead over every other team in the majors.
As a result, the remainder of the regular season shouldn’t be too stressful for Los Angeles, but the team will certainly need to be ready to flip a switch once postseason play arrives.