Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora didn’t get his own award Tuesday night. But outfielder Mookie Betts made sure to do enough this season to get his. And now it’s official — Betts is the 2018 American League MVP.
Betts is the best.
— MLB (@MLB) November 15, 2018
Betts did it all in 2018, posting career-high marks in doubles (47), home runs (32), RBI (129) and stolen bases (30). Not only that, but he wound up topping the Fangraphs fWAR chart with a staggering mark of 10.4. And as we know, the Red Sox made quick work of the Los Angeles Dodgers to win the World Series. Betts did win the award by getting 28 of 30 first-place votes, beating out LA’s Mike Trout and Cleveland’s José Ramírez. Mookie’s teammate J.D. Martinez, who wasn’t one of the three finalists for the award, took fourth in voting.
Now we wonder: is this only the beginning for the Red Sox? Because if so, the rest of the league is in trouble. Martinez is coming off a monster season, of course. But this is the best version of Betts we’ve seen yet. And he’s only 26 years old. Mike Trout will continue to give him a run for his money (or MVP crown, in this case). But if the Angels don’t start winning more (even though that shouldn’t matter), it’ll be moot.
Like Yelich and the Brewers, it’s time for Mookie and Boston to build on this. Though since they’re coming off a MLB championship, we suppose our advice for them is more along the lines of ‘don’t take your foot off the gas.’ Either way, it was a special season for the Boston Red Sox in more ways than one. And for Betts, it was the best of his young career.