The 2020 Dodgers are a good team. Like, really good. After 30 games, not only do they lead the majors in wins (22-8), but they haven’t even played their best baseball in getting there.
While every playoff-caliber team has that one player that carries a large part of the load, the Dodgers seem to have about 10 of them. Each night is someone else’s time to shine, and it’s been special to watch. But even if it has been a group effort, there are two who have outperformed all others: Mookie Betts and Corey Seager. Just take a look at their batting lines below, courtesy of MLB:
.298/.340/.585 7 HR, 20 RBI, 1.1 WAR
.300/.369/.664 11 HR, 24 RBI, 2.4 WAR
Judging by those numbers alone, it’s pretty clear that Betts has been the better player offensively. But if we could only choose one, which of these two has been more valuable to the Dodgers this season?
The Argument for Seager
Before diving into what has made Seager special in 2020, let’s get the one knock against him out of the way. His playing time took a hit in early August after a back injury kept him out of games for about a week, causing him to lose out on some opportunities to pad his stats.
Missing a few games aside, Seager has been the Dodgers’ most consistent player all season. From the moment Spring Training 2.0 kicked off, you could tell that he was on a mission and he’s managed to keep it going to this day.
While Betts may have the superior numbers, you can claim that Seager was LA’s only consistent bat for the first few weeks of the season. When Betts, Cody Bellinger, Max Muncy, and Justin Turner were slumping, Corey was there to carry the load. Had he not gone down with an injury, he very well could have similar numbers to Mookie. Moreover, many of Seager’s hits and RBIs have come in clutch situations, much like this go-ahead hit against Seattle last week.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) August 19, 2020
Overall, Seager has been all that the Dodgers could have wanted this season and then some. If he can continue to produce at this rate for the second half of the season, he very well could be their MVP.
The Argument for Betts
The only thing working against Betts at this point is the first few games of the season, where he looked rather human as he worked himself up to speed in Los Angeles. Through the first 8 games of the season, Mookie Betts hit just .256 with 7 strikeouts in 39 at-bats. However, since then he has posted a .324 average with 10 home runs and 19 RBI while massively cutting down his strikeout rate.
What sets Betts apart from everyone else, though, is his defense. This is no knock on Seager, who is solid on the defensive side as well, but Betts is just a different beast. While he’s only had one outfield assist this season, it was one very impressive assist.
MOOKIE CANNON. pic.twitter.com/ihWN0hwaZf
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) August 1, 2020
There just isn’t anything negative to say about him to this point. He has a great eye, bats for both average and power, runs the bases better than most, and is a stud on defense. Is any further argument really necessary?
At the end of the day, any team would be lucky to have one of Seager or Betts taking the field for them every game. But all things considered, Betts’ contributions have helped the Dodgers slightly more than Seager’s. In fact, Bett’s contributions have him rated as the best player in baseball based on WAR (wins above replacement).
We knew when we got Mookie that we were getting a special player, but he has truly been better than advertised. The fact that we now get to see him finish his career here in LA is simply the cherry on top.
Which player do you think will be the most valuable by seasons end? Let us know in the comments below!