Los Angeles Dodgers MVP Candidate Mookie Betts Fractures Wrist

When the Los Angeles Dodgers began their weekend series with the Kansas City Royals, Mookie Betts was the favorite to win the National League MVP award. By the end of the weekend, he was eighth on the list, now paying +2000.

In Sunday’s game, a 98-mph fastball hit him on the left wrist, fracturing a bone and knocking him out of the lineup “for some time.” The good news delivered by Dodgers manager Dave Roberts is that Betts won’t need surgery. But “for some time” is an open-ended timeline that sounds ominous.

The Dodgers won Sunday’s game, and they ended the weekend as the only team in the National League West over .500. Their playoff plans will not be interrupted by the injury to Betts. But his quest to add an N.L. MVP award to the A.L. MVP he won in 2018 is likely over.

Betts is second in the National League in on-base percentage. He’s second in the league in walks, third in runs scored, and top 10 in slugging. 

The latest MVP odds have teammate Shohei Ohtani as the favorite, paying +200. His 19 home runs is second in the National League. The Philadelphia Phillies’ Bryce Harper is second on the odds board at +350. He has 15 home runs and ranks fifth in the league in on-base percentage. San Diego Padres outfielder Fernando Tatis Jr. is +1000, as is Atlanta Braves designated hitter Marcell Ozuna. Ozuna leads the league with 20 home runs and is second with a .322 batting average.

Dodgers Also Lose Yoshinobu Yamamoto

Just hours before Betts was lost to injury, the Dodgers placed pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto on the 15-day injured list with a strained rotator cuff. It is not a tear, and Roberts was quick to tell reporters that this was not a season-ending injury. But Yamamoto will not throw for at least two weeks.

“It’s just going to take time and rest. His health is paramount. So for us to be proactive and put him on the IL seems like the smartest thing.”

Yamamoto was signed to a record $325 million, 12-year contract this off-season, and he began last weekend as the third betting favorite to win National League Rookie of the Year. Like with Betts, he has dropped to +2000 to win the award, which is tied for seventh.

Shota Imanaga is a Japanese import for the Chicago Cubs, and with his 1.89 ERA, he leads the betting at +100. Paul Skenes of the Pittsburgh Pirates is 3-0 a month into his career and he has 46 strikeouts in 33 innings. He’s paying +150.

Padres center fielder Jackson Merrill is paying +1000, as is Milwaukee Brewers third baseman Joey Ortiz.

One bit of good news for the Dodgers is the beginning of Clayton Kershaw’s minor league rehab. He will make his first start on Wednesday at Class-A Rancho Cucamonga. It is the first of several planned starts as he works his way back to the majors following off-season surgery on his left shoulder.

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