Surge in MLB No-Hitters This Season Leaves Bettors at a Loss
Yankees pitcher Corey Kluber threw the sixth no-hitter of the 2021 baseball season Wednesday night, leaving players, media members, fans and those who bet on MLB games wondering what to make of this emerging phenomenon.
Kluber shut down the Texas Rangers 2-0 and became the first Pinstripe hurler to toss a no-hitter in the 21st Century. Just one night earlier, Detroit’s Spencer Turnbull tossed a no-no against the Seattle Mariners in a game won by the Tigers 5-0.
Baseball is just two no-hitters away from matching the single-season record of eight, which was set in 1884.
The obvious question: “Why?”
“It’s crazy. Pitching is just different now. Even a few years ago with all the guys that are throwing ridiculous stuff up there. Spin. Velocity. Movement. We’re able to get information to help them get even better. There’s definitely been a shift toward pitcher advantage. You see a lot of strikeouts. There’s also some hitter-approach stuff in there that is probably impacting it. They are putting balls in play,” Red Sox general manager Brian O’Halloran told WEEI in Boston Thursday.
“Even with all that said, I think (six) no-hitters this early in the season . . . it’s incredible.”
Here is a look at each the six MLB no-hitters thrown thus far in 2021:
|Joe Musgrove||San Diego Padres||Texas Rangers||April 9||3-0|
|Carlos Rodon||Chicago White Sox||Cleveland Indians||April 15||8-0|
|John Means||Baltimore Orioles||Seattle Mariners||May 5||6-0|
|Wade Miley||Cincinnati Reds||Cleveland Indians||May 7||3-0|
|Spencer Turnbull||Detroit Tigers||Seattle Mariners||May 18||5-0|
|Corey Kluber||New York Yankees||Texas Rangers||May 19||2-0|
There would have been a seventh this season had Arizona pitcher Madison Baumgartner gotten credit for a no-hitter on April 25. He threw seven hitless innings and a complete game for the Diamondbacks against the Braves in the backend of a scheduled seven-inning doubleheader game.
IT COUNTS IN OUR BOOK.— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) April 25, 2021
MADISON BUMGARNER HAS THROWN A NO-HIT GAME! pic.twitter.com/nRHNWX0DVV
Run production and home runs are down across baseball this season. That trend has given sportsbooks an edge as bettors continue to lean toward the over when it comes to betting on the daily run total. They are backing the over nearly 60% of the time at DraftKings, for example.
As an example of just what hitters are facing this season — in addition to a deadened baseball — Kluber fanned nine Rangers and mixed his stuff all night. He threw 31 curveballs, 27 cutters, 23 sinkers, 18 changeups and just two four-seamers — never topping 93 mph on the gun.
San Diego pitcher Joe Musgrove threw the first no-hitter of the season and the first in Padres history on April 9. Like Kluber’s, that gem was thrown against the Rangers in Arlington, Texas.
A total of 1,274 games have been played in the majors this season through Thursday. This is the first time there have been six no-hitters in one MLB season before June and, according to ESPN Stats & Info, the first time three teams have been no-hit in one season: The Indians, Mariners and Rangers.
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