Boston Red Sox Tops in MLB For Producing 200-Hit Seasons

Boston Red Sox Tops in MLB For Producing 200-Hit Seasons
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

The Boston Red Sox, one of MLB’s iconic teams, has had several great players take the field for them over the franchise’s 124-year history. With the likes of Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski, Jim Rice, Wade Boggs, David Ortiz and Mookie Betts in the lineup, many of them knew how to swing the bat.

So, it should come as no surprise Boston has had more than its fair share of players with 200-hit seasons. In fact, Red Sox players have reached that milestone 20 times since 1978. That year was chosen because the last Cincinnati Reds player to record 200 hits in a season was Pete Rose in 1977. Since then, every other MLB franchise except for the Tampa Bay Rays has had at least one batter post a 200-hit season.

BetMassachusetts.com, your source for Massachusetts sportsbook promos and reviews, used Baseball-Reference’s Stathead to determine how many 200-hit seasons there have been since 1978 and which teams have had the most in that span.

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Number of 200-Hit Seasons Since 1978

MLB TeamLast 200-Hit SeasonLast Player To Reach 200 HitsNumber of 200-Hit Seasons Since 1978
Boston Red Sox2019Rafael Devers (201)20
New York Yankees2012Derek Jeter (212)17
Texas Rangers2011Michael Young (213)13
Seattle Mariners2010Ichiro Suzuki (214)13
Colorado Rockies2017Charlie Blackmon (213)9

With the MLB season less than a week old, Massachusetts sportsbooks sites list the Los Angeles Dodgers as the World Series favorite at +340 odds. Atlanta is second at +425. Houston and the New York Yankees have the best odds in the American League at +900.

MORE: Red Sox Playoff Chances

Boggs Carried Load for Sox

Why have the Red Sox had so many 200-hit seasons over that span? It helps Boggs put together seven straight seasons with that many hits between 1983 and 1989. Rice had three years with 200 or more between 1978 and 1986.

Playing 81 games a year in Fenway Park also is a factor. Last year, Forbes’ Tony Blengino rated the league’s oldest ballpark as the third-friendliest for offense. Fenway’s famed Green Monster in left field also allows hitters to rack up doubles on balls that would likely be routine flyouts to left and left center in other parks. Of the 20 200-hit seasons by Red Sox hitters, 18 recorded 30 or more two-baggers that year. The two that didn’t were Rice (25) in 1978 and Mo Vaughn (29) in 1996, but they also hit 46 and 44 home runs, respectively. Rice also hit 15 triples in what was his lone MVP season.

200-Hit Seasons Now Rare

A player recording 200 hits in a season used to be more common than it is now. From 1978 to 2007, there were 138 such seasons in MLB, and the only non-strike-shortened season without a player reaching that mark was in 1990. Since 2008, there have only been 33, and last season saw three players — Ronald Acuna Jr. of the Atlanta Braves, Freddie Freeman of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Luis Arraez of the Miami Marlins — post 200 or more hits. They were the first players to do so since Boston’s Rafael Devers and Whit Merrifield of the Kansas City Royals did so in 2019.

There may be several reasons for the sharp decline. Pitchers throw harder. Teams use more relievers, meaning batters may not face the same pitcher more than twice in a game. And before last season, teams increased their use of defensive shifts against hitters. Major League Baseball banned such defenses last year in an attempt to help produce more offense and excitement in games.

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Can Devers Lead MLB In Hits?

The Red Sox opened the season last week in Seattle and play their first 10 games on the road before their home opener on April 9 versus the Baltimore Orioles. Massachusetts betting apps list Boston as +8000 to win the World Series and +3500 to win the American League after its 2-2 start to the season.

While there may not be a 200-hit season this year, you can wager on which player will lead the majors in hits. At FanDuel Massachusetts, Devers has odds of +4200 to lead MLB in hits for the 2024 season, and DraftKings gives the Red Sox infielder +3000 odds.

USA Today photo by Steven Bisig.

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Steve is an accomplished, award-winning reporter with more than 20 years of experience covering gaming, sports, politics and business. He has written for the Associated Press, Reuters, The Louisville Courier Journal, The Center Square and numerous other publications. Based in Louisville, Ky., Steve has covered the expansion of sports betting in the U.S. and other gaming matters.

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