OK, this is a little awkward. It's a bit strange to be writing about offense when the major league-wide batting average is .233. That would be the lowest mark since ... well, forever. Lower than 1968, the infamous Year of the Pitcher, which led to lowering the mound and shrinking the strike zone for 1969. Lower than any season of the dead-ball era. Lower than last season's .245 average, which was the lowest since 1972.
Take this past Sunday. There were 15 games played. Four of them ended in shutouts, including two 1-0 games. There was a 2-1 game at Coors Field. Seventeen teams scored two or fewer runs. Overall, teams hit .195 and averaged 3.0 runs per game, with hitters striking out in 26% of their plate appearances.
There is still plenty of power to go around, although home runs are so far down from the record-setting rates of 2019 and 2020 and in line with 2018. Because of that high rate of home runs, runs per game, while lower than any season since 2015, remain within historical norms at 4.33. That is a little higher than the 4.25 average from 2010 to 2015, but below the 4.61 average from 2016 to 2020.
While it's a little too early to make rash judgments on individual player performance, we can still have some fun assessing what we've seen from various lineups around the majors so far. The New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets - three of the better lineups in 2020 - currently rank in the bottom seven in runs per game. Is that going to last all season? Unlikely, but the Yankees' early struggles have put them in an early hole. (All stats through Monday.)