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Dodgers' Betts: Winning 'MVP is cool, but it's kind of irrelevant'

Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times / Getty Images

Los Angeles Dodgers infielder/outfielder Mookie Betts is considered one of the favorites for National League MVP, but he doesn't seem to care if he wins the honor.

"I don't know, man. MVP is cool, but it's kind of irrelevant," Betts said, according to the Orange County Register's Bill Plunkett. "We play to win the World Series. Individual goals are really cool, and some people play for that, and there's nothing wrong with that at all. But me, I play because I want to win. If I play good, cool. I would love to play well, but as long as we win, that's all I care about."

Betts and Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. are considered the favorites for NL MVP. Acuña appears to be the front-runner as he's posting better September numbers than his Dodgers counterpart and recently became the founding member of baseball's 40-60 club.

2023 statistics

Mookie Betts 147 39 105 14 .998 8.2
Ronald Acuña Jr. 154 41 103 68 1.011 8.0

In September

Mookie Betts 20 1 7 4 .254 .750
Ronald Acuña Jr. 21 11 20 6 .326 1.121

Despite Betts' nonchalant attitude toward his league's highest honor, he admitted teammate J.D. Martinez pushed him to try to win it prior to the beginning of the season, which motivated the 30-year-old.

"He told me when he first signed, 'Hey, we're gonna get you that,'" Betts said. "That was kind of like a motivation thing to start the season. You set goals, right? You set goals, and you want to achieve them. Do the goals matter at the end of the day, especially the personal ones? Not really. But it was a goal that was set at the beginning, and you kind of forget about it until the time comes."

Betts took home the American League MVP in 2018 with the Boston Red Sox and finished top 10 in his respective league on five other occasions throughout his career.

Acuña ranked in the top 12 in voting for three consecutive years from 2018-20 but hasn't been considered among the finalists since.

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