MLB strikeout rate rising, but Twins keep mashing

The strikeout rate is at an all-time high, but the Minnesota Twins and the Los Angeles Angels aren’t biting heading into a three-game series that begins Monday at Target Field.

Twins hitters have struck out just 288 times this season in 39 games — 29th in the majors — while Angels hitters have struck out just 236 times in 40 games, good for 30th.

Those figures translate to two of the lowest strikeout rates in the majors.

MLB, Lowest offensive strikeout rate – 2019

Los Angeles Angels 15.6%
Houston Astros 19%
Minnesota Twins 19.5%
Oakland Athletics 19.7%
Boston Red Sox 20.5%

It’s far from the norm.

The MLB strikeout rate has risen in every season since 2005, and currently stands at 23.2%, the highest in major-league history.

Jose Berrios has been fanning batters accordingly.

Minnesota’s ace has a 6.38 strikeout-to-walk ratio, second in the American League among qualifying starters, while fellow Twins starters Michael Pineda (3.89) and Jake Odorizzi (2.87) also rank in the top-20.

AL, highest K/BB ratio – 2019

Carlos Carrasco CLE 8.00
Jose Berrios MIN 6.38
Tyler Glasnow TB 6.11
Gerrit Cole HOU 5.73
Matt Boyd DET 5.73

Strikeouts aside, the Angels’ offense has been relatively middling this season, but the Twins have been clubbing teams into submission.

Minnesota is one of just five teams to hit three-plus home runs in 10 or more games this season, alongside the Los Angeles Dodgers (10), Milwaukee Brewers (11), Seattle Mariners (13) and Houston Astros (14).

Newcomer C.J. Cron has nine home runs this season, including three in his last five games, and has been feasting on left-handed pitching heading into a matchup with Angels lefty Tyler Skaggs.

Cron is hitting .364/.375/.818 in 22 at-bats against lefties this season with a 1.193 OPS, which ranks fifth in the AL.

Statistics courtesy of sportradar