Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts knows he needs to step it up in the ALCS
Boston Red Sox star Mookie Betts has been a great hitter all season but his numbers against the Houston Astros aren’t good. Expect that to change.
The Boston Red Sox are going to need more from Mookie Betts in order to beat the Houston Astros in the ALCS.
Betts finished the regular season with 32 home runs, 80 RBI’s, an average of .346, and an OPS of 1.078. However, Betts was a disappointment in the ALDS. He only batted.188, struck out four times, had two RBI’s, and only three hits.
With the Astros coming into Boston for the beginning of the ALCS, Betts knows he needs to improve. He batted.313, but struck out four times, and only got five hits against the Astros in last year’s ALDS.
It helps that Alex Cora is the manager this time around to tell Betts what to expect from the Houston pitchers. Cora showed Betts his scouting report against Houston last postseason and it wasn’t good. According to Christopher Smith of MassLive, Cora is motivating Betts in an interesting way.
"“He’s been hearing the scouting report and how bad he was last year against Houston from his manager,” Cora said. “So he’ll be ready.”"
Betts will be going up against Justin Verlander in Game 1 tonight at Fenway Park. He’s 0-for-13 with a pair of walks, two strikeouts, and a .133 OPS against the former MVP.
Will tonight be different against Verlander? Will we see the Betts we have seen all season?
Against Game 2 starter Gerrit Cole, Betts has better numbers. He’s 5-for-8 with a walk and an RBI.
Betts talked about his poor performance in the ALDS on WEEI.
"“I think it’s just one of those things where I have to kind of embrace it,” said Betts. “If I have to go out and be one of the producers, then I have to go do it, no matter if you try to push it to the side or not. It’s just one of those things where I know I have to go in and do something and help the team win in some way. And if it’s getting three hits, then cool. If it’s making a nice play in the outfield, that’s fine, too. So I’m just going to do whatever I can to help the team win. And I think we have a bunch of guys here that can do something to help the team win, so it’s just one of those things where I don’t feel so pressured to do everything. But I know I have to do something.”"
I’m sure getting the numbers thrown at Betts of his stats against Houston last year in the playoffs has motivated him to do better this time around.
Betts is 7-for-11 with four walks and a 1.642 OPS against Houston this year. It also helps that he’ll be at Fenway for Games 1 and 2 of this series. He’s batting .364 at Fenway Park this season with 13 home runs, 41 RBI’s, 86 hits and an OPS of 1.118.
Facing the Astros in the ALCS versus facing them in the ALDS is obviously a bigger stage. The winner of the series gets a chance to play in the World Series. I’m sure he’ll be ready to go and come out firing tonight against Houston.