Dodgers: Biggest Storylines to Look at in the Second-Half

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 08: Dodgers' Cody Bellinger
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 08: Dodgers' Cody Bellinger /
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MIAMI, FL – JULY 10: Justin Turner /

Justin Turner’s quest for a .400 average and/or batting title

This might be the most intriguing one in my opinion. No one has hit for a .400 average since Ted William back in 1941, not even the late, great, Tony Gwynn, although he did come close with a .394 average in 1994.

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Justin Turner is currently hitting .377 and has been hovering around the .380 over the last 26 games (dating back to the May 19th game he hurt his hamstring in). At no point during the season has his average dropped below .342. Just think about that. He has been raking since Opening Day.

There is a reason reaching the .400 mark for an entire season hasn’t been done in 76 years, but Turner can make a good run at it. He puts in a quality at-bat every time out, has great plate awareness, hardly strikes out, makes great contact, and can hit to all parts of the field with ease. That and he is hitting off lefties this year after struggling last season.

The more obtainable achievement, though, is the batting title. At his rate, he could lead the entire MLB and not just the Nationa League. Daniel Murphy paces the NL with a .342 average while Jose Altuve is the leader in all of baseball with a .347 average.

To qualify for the batting title, a player must average at least 3.1 plate appearances per game over 162 games, which comes out to at least 502 plate appearances in a full season.

Even with the missed time, he is close to qualifying for the leaderboards. The Dodgers have played in 90 games which means he’d need 279 plate appearances to qualify currently. He is at 274 right now.

You can apply the Tony Gwynn Rule to Turner, which would mean adding the necessary plate appearances to a player’s season total to meet the minimum requirement to qualify. But the caveat is they will go down as hitless at-bats.

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In JT’s case, it means adding five hitless at-bats to bring his total from 274 to 279. Even then, he’d still lead all of baseball with a .369 average, so he’s got a great headstart.