Boston Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers is one of the best young players in Major League Baseball.
Devers made his MLB debut in 2017 and has steadily improved each of the last two years. His first full season came in Boston's historic 2018 campaign when he batted .240 with 21 home runs and 66 RBIs in 120 games. Devers was part of a Red Sox lineup that helped pave the way for a franchise-record 108 wins and a World Series championship.
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The 23-year-old's breakout campaign came last year. He set career highs with a .311 batting average, 32 homers, 115 RBIs, 129 runs scored and 201 hits. Those 201 hits were the second-most in baseball, trailing only Kansas City Royals second baseman Whit Merrifield's 206.
Oddsmakers are expecting another fantastic offensive season from Devers, who is among the betting favorites to lead the MLB in hits during the shortened 60-game season.
Here are the latest odds for the MLB hits leader, courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook:
Jose Altuve, Astros: +1200
Nolan Arenado, Rockies: +1200
Whit Merrifield, Royals: +1200
Rafael Devers, Red Sox: +1300
D.J. LeMahieu, Yankees: +1500
Francisco Lindor, Indians: +1500
Ketel Marte, Diamondbacks: +1500
Ozzie Albies, Braves: +2000
Trea Turner, Nationals: +2000
Tim Anderson: White Sox: +2200
Having a fast start is even more important in a shortened season because catching the leaders is obviously more difficult when there are fewer games. Devers has not started fast in each of the last two years. He batted .258 in April in 2018 and .282 in April last season.
The middle of the season is when Devers really took off in 2019. He collected 39 hits and batted a season-high .358 in July. If Devers is able to rediscover that form in the summer's hottest months, he should rank among the MLB's hit leaders throughout 2020 and have a tremendous chance at finishing above his peers.