Mookie Betts: Freeway Series ‘Not In The Same Stratosphere’ Of Red Sox-Yankees Rivalry

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The Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels entered the Freeway Series at Angel Stadium this week in one of the more exciting matchups between the two clubs in recent memory.

Both teams are in position to make a postseason push, with the Dodgers in third place of the National League West and third in the Wild Card race. After being swept by the Dodgers, the Angels are also third in their division but now sit in fourth place for the American League Wild Card.

The Angels sported a better record than the Dodgers when the two-game set began, which was the first time that has happened at the start of the Freeway Series since 2014. That also was the same season the Angels last made the playoffs.

While it made for an entertaining series, Mookie Betts Dodgers and Angels shouldn’t necessarily be considered rivals, especially not at the same level as the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, per Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times:

“It’s not even in the same stratosphere,” said Dodgers right fielder Mookie Betts, who spent the first six years of his career (2014-19) in Boston, which played 114 games against the Yankees in that span. “Sure, it’s a crosstown rivalry, but it’s more for the fans and for reporters to write about. It has nothing to do with the players.”

The Dodgers are 69-73 all-time against the Angels, but since 2015 they are 26-16. The Dodgers are also 8-0 against the Angels in their last eight games dating back to August 2021.

Betts also previously hesitated to compare the Dodgers and Giants to the Red Sox and Yankees matchups, which shows his appreciation for the historic teams on the East Coast, which is often considered the best rivalry in baseball.

“Yankees-Red Sox, man, that’s mean. That’s different,” Betts began when asked to compare the historic rivalries. “This is definitely different. Maybe the different coasts, East Coast people are different than West Coast. I don’t know.

“But it’s definitely a lot of fun to be a part of a rivalry like this. Just being a part of it, being able to contribute in it is just fun.”

Regardless of whether or not the Dodgers and Angels are considered a rivalry, it easily allows fans to travel to both stadiums, which creates an exciting atmosphere.

Dave Roberts agrees with Mookie Betts on Freeway Series

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts also expressed Betts’ feelings that any thought of a rivalry between the Dodgers and Angels is primarily based on location than anything else.

“I think it’s more just geography driven,” Roberts said. “I think it’s a thing in the sense of Southern California and local Los Angeles, Greater Los Angeles and Orange County, but being in different leagues, obviously not the same division. But I enjoy going down there and playing the Angels, certainly.”

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