After much anticipation and buildup, the Dodgers ended up making easy work of the San Diego Padres in the NLDS this past week. What was supposed to be an uber-competitive series instead turned out to be a clinic on how to win in October with LA ending the series in 3 short games.
This is not to say that there weren’t a few scares along the way (I’m looking at you, Kenley Jansen and Joe Kelly), but the vast majority of the series played out exactly how the Dodgers envisioned it.
As with any postseason series, certain players stood out for their contributions in the three wins. We took to Twitter to find out who exactly fans felt was most valuable, and the results were pretty much in line with what we expected to see.
Who was your series MVP for the #Dodgers?
— Dodgers Nation (@DodgersNation) October 9, 2020
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the most popular fan picks for the Dodgers NLDS MVP!
Betts is leading us the chip
— NMelo23 (@NMelo23) October 9, 2020
Betts was among the leaders in fan votes for series MVP, and for good reason.
Mookie Betts has been arguably the biggest difference-maker when comparing this postseason to previous years. His offensive production was always a given, but the baseball IQ that he plays with and that he offers to the rest of the team cannot is not talked about enough. From telling his teammates what he observes in a pitcher to initiating the double steal that swung the momentum completely in their favor, Mookie has been about as valuable as they come.
Bellinger easily. game saving catch and highest OPS of the series
— eduardo???? (@yoooeduardo1) October 9, 2020
There is no denying Cody’s impact on this series. After an abysmal season by his standards, Bellinger has really started to heat up in October when it matters most. Cody had a solid .333 batting average with 5 RBI in this series, a sign that perhaps a postseason breakout is right around the corner. Add in the incredible catch that shattered any momentum that San Diego had in Game 2, and you have yourself quite the valuable player indeed.
The Real MVP
Trent Grisham, because of his antics one month ago. Thanks Trent for providing the last piece of the puzzle…? fire! pic.twitter.com/kOWU72FnzO
— dodgertodd (@dodgertodd22) October 9, 2020
This fan gets it. In many ways, Grisham’s homerun back in September lit the fire that these Dodgers have been playing with ever since. Since then, the Dodgers have won 15 of their last 17 games, including all five postseason games up to this point. Thank you, Mr. Grisham.
Much like the regular season, this Dodgers club has been successful because of contributions from up and down their roster. Between Mookie and Bellinger, there is no wrong choice as to who played the biggest role in the series win over San Diego. In fact, you can throw in names like Will Smith, Brusdar Graterol, and Corey Seager as well, considering how impactful they all were at various points of the NLDS. But if there could only be one, my MVP award would go to Cody Bellinger.
If this is the version of Cody that the Dodgers will get for the remainder of the postseason, the sky is the limit offensively for this group. Betts has been consistent all year long, and that may be part of the reason that Cody stood out more during these three games. Either way, both guys will factor in heavily if the Dodgers are to hoist their first World Series trophy since 1988.
The Dodgers look like a team on a mission, and their road to a title is clearer than ever. With the offense firing on all cylinders and the pitching staff in prime position to enter the next round rested and perfectly lined up, this is a team that no one wants to face en route to a title.
The Dodgers will take on the Braves in the NL Championship Series starting Monday, October 12th in Arlington.