Race for batting title drawing nigh

Batting averages are trending low this year - below .325 - possibly a consequence of either all the home runs, or conversely, strikeouts.

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September 21, 2021 - 10:25 AM

The Toronto Blue Jays' Marcus Semien (10) celebrates his fourth-inning home run with teammate Vladimir Guerrero Jr. against the Minnesota Twins at the Rogers Centre on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Toronto. (Mark Blinch/Getty Images/TNS)

The bar for the batting title is unusually low this year — and that’s creating wild races for the honor in both leagues.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. leads the majors in hitting with a .321 average, and Trea Turner is atop the National League at .316. According to Baseball-Reference.com, the only time the leaders in both leagues were at .325 or lower was in 1960, when Dick Groat topped the NL at .325 and Pete Runnels hit .320 to win the AL title.

The lowest average to win the NL batting crown was .313 by Tony Gwynn in 1988. The lowest to top the AL was .301 by Carl Yastrzemski in the pitcher-dominated 1968 season.

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