William Hill Sportsbook offers a yes-only prop at +1500 (bet $100 to win $1500) every day during the Major League Baseball season on whether there will be a no-hitter in any game. It used to be somewhat of a sucker's bet, honestly, but the sixth no-hitter this season was thrown already Wednesday night by the Yankees' Corey Kluber. The single-season record for no-hitters is eight, but SportsLine oddsmakers give an Over/Under total of 12 for 2021, with the Under a slight favorite.
Kluber's no-hitter vs. Texas was the Yankees' first since July 18, 1999, when David Cone threw a perfect game against the Montreal Expos. While there have been six no-hitters so far in 2021, there hasn't been a perfect game, although a few have come close. Kluber came within a four-pitch walk to Charlie Culberson in the third inning of throwing a perfect game. The last perfect game was by Seattle's Felix Hernandez on Aug. 15, 2012, vs. Tampa Bay.
The first no-hitter on record was back in 1884 and many disregard that and count seven (1990, 1991, 2012 and 2015) as the modern-day record. There have been seven no-hitters this year in a way, except one was controversially unofficial. That was a seven-inning no-no in the second game of doubleheader by the Diamondbacks' Madison Bumgarner on May 11 vs. the Marlins. Even though all other statistics count in seven-inning doubleheaders, MLB rules state a pitcher must go at least nine innings for a no-no.
This is the first time in MLB history there has been six no-hitters before June, and May 2021 is the second month in MLB history with four no-hitters (June 1990). It's also the first time ever three teams have been no-hit twice in a season:
- Rangers – April 9 vs. Padres' Joe Musgrove (first no-no in San Diego history); May 19 vs. Yankees' Corey Kluber
- Mariners – May 5 vs. Orioles' John Means; May 18 vs. Tigers' Spencer Turnbull
- Indians – April 14 vs. White Sox's Carlos Rodon; May 7 vs. Reds' Wade Miley
Interesting that only American League teams have been no-hit because those clubs have the designated hitter, while of course NL teams don't unless playing interleague games in AL parks. Both 2021 interleague no-hitters were against lineups with the DH (i.e. in AL parks). As of today, pitchers are on pace for 23 no-hitters in the regular season.
Also interesting that none of those pitchers are considered among the best in baseball (the two-time Cy Young winner Kluber used to be among the best but isn't close to his prime these days). Most would agree the Mets' Jacob deGrom is the best currently; he has never had a no-hitter. Believe it or not, the likes of Roger Clemens, Pedro Martinez, Greg Maddux and Steve Carlton never had one, either.
Why have there been so many no-hitters in 2021? Teams are collectively batting just .236 entering play Thursday. That would be the worst mark in history. The percentage of plate appearances that end in a strikeout is .243, which also would be the worst ever. In 1968, the famous Year of the Pitcher, that percentage was .158. Batters hit a combined .237 that season, and right after it MLB lowered mound from 15 inches to 10.
Via SportsLine oddsmakers: How many no-hitters thrown during 2021 season?
- Over 12 +120
- Under (or exactly) 12 -150
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