From SABR member Rob Mains at Baseball Prospectus on June 4, 2019:
The first time I read about there being more strikeouts than hits across MLB was in the Joe Sheehan Newsletter last April. That month, batters struck out 7,335 times while amassing 6,992 hits. That had never happened, not even for a month, in baseball history. There were more hits than strikeouts in May, July, and August, but on balance, strikeouts ruled in 2018, 14,247 to 13,661.
Put another way, there have been 708 months of baseball since the formation of the American League in 1901 (counting March/April and September/October as single months): Six months per year, plus two this year, less September/October 1994 and July 1981 (both lost to work stoppages). Of those 708 months, there have been more strikeouts than hits five times: March/April 2018, June 2018, and the last three months straight. June will make it six. A dam broke last year, and barring a change in the game, it doesn’t look as if it’s gonna fix itself.
The dominant story this season hasn’t been just the rise in strikeouts. Balls are leaving the park at a record pace, too. In looking into it, I noticed something that’s changed. Let me show you in a graph.
Read the full article here: https://www.baseballprospectus.com/news/article/50418/flu-like-symptoms-1992-the-year-before-the-dam-broke/
Originally published: June 5, 2019. Last Updated: June 5, 2019.