Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Dodgers completed a two-game sweep of the Los Angeles Angels as they head into the All-Stark break, which may be some welcomed time off for most players, except Mookie Betts.
The seven-time All-Star has been on fire at the plate recently, batting .365/.421/1.038 with nine home runs in his last 15 games. Betts blasted another home run to lead off the game on Saturday, his 26th long ball overall of the season.
Additionally, it was Betts 10th leadoff home run of the 2023 season, which broke two records. Betts passed Joc Pederson for the most leadoff home runs in Dodgers franchise history during a single season.
Pederson’s mark of nine leadoff homers was previously set in 2019, and he also held the second-place total with eight in the 2018 season. Betts now holds the top spot on the all-time Dodgers’ leadoff home runs list, as well as the fourth- (seven, 2022) and fifth-place spots (seven, 2021).
In addition, Betts tied the MLB record for most leadoff home runs in the first half of a season, passing the nine George Springer hit for the Houston Astros in 2017. Springer’s mark, however, comes with an asterisk as it was determined the Astros electronically stole signs throughout the 2017 season.
Betts is now tied with Barry Bonds, who hit 10 leadoff home runs for the San Francisco Giants during the first half of the 1973 season.
The leadoff home run was also the 46th of Betts’ career, which tied former Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins for seventh on the career list. Of those, Betts has hit 26 with the Dodgers.
Mookie Betts facing Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in Home Run Derby
The 2023 Home Run Derby bracket has been set, which features Betts facing Toronto Blue Jays’ Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in the first round.
Home Run Derby seeding was decided based on players’ long ball totals through games played on the Fourth of July. Betts earned the No. 3 seed by virtue of hitting 23 home runs during the designated period. Guerrero earned sixth in the field with 13 homers.
If Betts advances to the second round, he would face the winner of the matchup between two-time champion Pete Alonso and hometown star Julio Rodríguez.
Betts has admitted one goal is to not finish in last place, and he otherwise is looking to become the first Dodgers player to ever win the Home Run Derby.
Mike Piazza (1993, 1994), Rául Mondesi (1995), Hee-Seop Choi (2005), Matt Kemp (2011, 2012), Yasiel Puig (2014), Pederson (2015, 2019), Corey Seager (2016), Cody Bellinger (2017) and Max Muncy (2018) have all taken their turns to no avail.
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