Major League Baseball

MLB weekly roundup: L.A. Dodgers' Mookie Betts shows off his six-tool stuff

April 19

By Ben Verlander
FOX Sports MLB Analyst

Another week of baseball is in the books, and what a week it was.

This week featured Jackie Robinson Day, a much-anticipated series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres, and a nearly perfect game that became a no-hitter by Carlos Rodón of the Chicago White Sox.

Every year, I get a little emotional on Jackie Robinson Day when I see everyone take the field wearing No. 42. When I played baseball at the professional level, I was able to share a locker room with people of all races and ethnicities. None of that would’ve been possible without Jackie Robinson.

So many of the friendships and bonds and memories I made in professional baseball wouldn’t have happened without him. 

Thank you, Jackie.

Now let’s take a look at some of the best things about the week that was in Major League Baseball and some of the top storylines of the week ahead. 


Jackie Robinson Day resulted in some fantastic pictures from around the league. This one stood out to me.


In what is certainly the most exciting matchup of the season, the Padres and Dodgers faced off for the first time this year. 

The series did not disappoint, and Mookie Betts showed off.

Now, Betts didn’t have the best series offensively, but this honor isn’t stats-based. Mookie is one of the most exciting players to watch, and what he did Saturday night perfectly exemplifies what this award is all about.

In the bottom of the ninth in a 2-0 ballgame, the tying run was on second base with two outs when the ball was drilled into the gap. Betts came flying across the outfield and made an incredible, game-saving catch.

Then he sat up and let the raw emotion out.


The Boston Red Sox are on fire since their opening series sweep at the hands of the Baltimore Orioles

After that weekend, they went on a nine-game winning streak, and they're currently the leaders of the AL East. Heading into this season, I was higher than most on the Sox, and I immediately looked very wrong.

Well, now they are hot and putting up runs in bunches.

J.D. Martinez and Xander Bogaerts are both hitting better than .350 in the middle of that lineup, and they were the life of the Sox's offense during that nine-game streak.

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1. The New York Yankees

What is wrong with the Yankees? The best team in the AL East on paper, they've started with a 5-10 record and sit dead last in the American League. They aren’t hitting, they aren’t playing defense, and aside from Gerrit Cole and Jordan Montgomery, they aren’t pitching well. 

With two series coming up this week against the Braves and the Indians, things won't get much easier for the Bronx Bombers anytime soon. I'll be looking to see if they can start to turn it around this week.

2. Padres-Dodgers – Part II

The first series between these two was more exciting than I could’ve imagined. This weekend, we get to do it all over again, as the Padres travel to L.A. — this time for a four-game series.

3. Shohei Ohtani

Ohtani is must-watch TV whenever he is playing for the Angels. On Tuesday, he takes the mound for his second start of the 2021 season after a brief break from pitching due to a blister on his right middle finger.

Ohtani's first start of the season marked the first time in more than 100 years that a starting pitcher batted in the top two spots in the lineup. He proceeded to hit a bomb on the first pitch he saw in his first at-bat. You won't want to miss his second start.

Here’s to another fantastic week of baseball. 

Ben Verlander spent five years in the Detroit Tigers organization. Born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, Verlander was an All-American at Old Dominion University before he joined his brother, Justin, in Detroit as a 14th-round pick of the Tigers in 2013. Follow him on Twitter @Verly32.

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