Oddsmakers like Trea Turner's chances to pick up where he left off in 2020

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Prince J. Grimes
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Oddsmakers like Trea Turner to pick up where he left in 2020 originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

For all of his tantalizing abilities on a baseball diamond, the speedy Trea Turner has yet to put together a truly elite season on the Major League level. Last year could’ve been that, as Turner was seventh in NL MVP voting, but the pandemic-shortened season limited the sample size.

As he enters 2021 still searching for his first all-star selection, however, oddsmakers are giving Turner a good chance to put up some numbers that will help his case.

Turner is tied with Mookie Betts and DJ LeMahieu on PointsBet Sportsbook for the best odds to lead the league in hits this season at +1200, and he has the second-best odds to lead the league in stolen bases at +350. Only last year's leader, Adalberto Mondesi, has better odds at +120.

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It’s no wonder why bettors will have to pay a little more for a bigger return if Turner comes away with the stolen bases lead. He's come close to the league-lead before, with a runner-up finish of 43 in 2018, and he has a career-high of 46 in 2017 and at least 30 in four different seasons.

But a league-lead in hits is where Turner would truly take a leap.

Looking at the last five major league seasons that were played in full, from 2015-19, the hits leaders from each year combined for an average of 206 hits, and just twice since at least 2000 has the leader finished with fewer than 200 hits. Turner’s career high is 180, which came in 2018, the only time he played all 162 games.

Of course, his 78 hits through 59 games last season led the majors and had him on pace for about 216 hits, so it’s possible he’s just entering his prime and the best is on the way. But with people questioning if the unusual season that was 2020 is to blame for the down year some players had, it’s only fair to also question how much should be taken from breakouts by players like Turner, who hit an insane .335 in 2020.

Health likely will be the biggest determining factor of how close Turner comes, as he played in over 100 games just twice in the previous five years before last season. But if he stays healthy, Turner should be in the mix. The 27-year-old shortstop will get plenty of chances at the top of Washington’s order, and he puts the ball in play at a high rate, with a career strikeout percentage of just 18%, far below last season’s league average of 23.4%.

Following Turner, Betts and LeMahieu on the odds lists for hits is Whit Merrifield at +1500 and Ketel Marte at +1800. Turner's followed in stolen bases odds by Merrifield and Ronald Acuna Jr. at +700 and Fernando Tatis Jr. at +900. And hitting ahead of NL MVP favorite Juan Soto, Turner's tied for the eighth-best odds to lead the league in runs scored at +2000.

Odds provided by our partner, PointsBet