PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 21: Jesus Aguilar #24 of the Milwaukee Brewers reacts after striking out in the fourth inning during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on September 21, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)

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Strikeouts Are Likely to Top Hits This Season for First Time in MLB History

More hitters are going down by way of the K in 2018 than ever before.

In Major League Baseball, 2018 isn’t the Year of the Dog, it’s the Year of the K.

For the first time in MLB history, it seems more likely than not that there will be more recorded strikeouts than hits over the course of the season.

As of Tuesday, there were 39,902 strikeouts compared to just 39,833 hits. This trend took flight in April when there were more strikeouts than hits for the first time. Then it happened again in June and seems likely happen again in September.

On the whole, strikeouts have increased every year for the past 10 seasons and are likely to surpass last year’s previous high of 40,104.

As strikeouts have increased, batting average across the league has dropped and the .248 big league average is down seven percentage points from last year. If that .248 number holds, it’ll be the lowest level since 1972, the year before the designated hitter was introduced into MLB.

For lefties, that average is even lower at .244, the lowest since .242 in 1968, the year before the pitcher’s mound was lowered.

“The players have been forced to adapt a lot over the last few years based on the changes that are being recommended to them, that are being guided by those not on the field. So the game has changed quite a bit,” said MLB Players Association head Tony Clark. “The question that I believe we all need to ask is based on where the game is, where the game appears to be going, if the current baseball fans find it appealing, if they are interested in the way the game is being played.”

Read the full story at The Associated Press