It’s very difficult to find a weakness with a player of Mookie Betts’ caliber. Actually, most nights it’s fairly difficult to find a weakness in the Dodgers lineup as a whole. Unfortunately, that was not the case in Game 1 of the NLCS.
Mookie Betts hit just .185 off of left-handed pitching all year. That number would be relatively alarming if not for his amazing success against right-handed pitching. While it hasn’t hurt the Dodgers in the past, it certainly reared its head on Monday evening.
The Braves threw just two left-handed pitchers in Game 1. Max Fried got the start and faced off against Mookie three times. He got him out in all three at-bats with relative ease. When Fried came out of the game, the Braves brought in Will Smith to get Mookie to fly out. Is this the strategy the Braves will go with to help keep Mookie down?
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts talked a little bit about how Atlanta is handling Betts after the loss. In his mind, Mookie is probably going to see plenty of southpaws out of the Braves bullpen this series.
I think at times they’re going with the crossfire, I think they’re trying to crowd him and also spin him. So I think that he’s got his approach, he prepares, and he’s just got to be diligent and just capitalize on mistakes. When they make good pitches it’s going to be tough but I’m still going to bet on that guy.
The good news is that the Braves are going to have to go with right-handed pitching at some point against Mookie. He’ll get that chance tomorrow when the Dodgers face off against Ian Anderson. Look for Atlanta to go to left-handed relief in the later innings when Mookie comes to the dish.