This image features two of the league's five best two-strike hitters. What do they have in common, besides being great at hitting? (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
The Red Sox are good at hitting. (Analysis!) They also happen to be the best team in the majors at hitting with two strikes in the count. R.J. Anderson of Baseball Prospectus did a bit of digging to see if the Red Sox were seeking out a particular brand of hitter in order to earn their ranking at the top of the league. This comes on the heels of noticing the Red Sox have three of the five best two-strike hitters in the league over the last few years.
The Red Sox, with two strikes, have a .217 True Average (Baseball Prospectus's adjusted, single-figure measure for offensive production). That's as good as what Andrew McCutchen did with two strikes on him; an impressive output considering it's a team-wide basis. Their .217 mark is also 31 points better than the last-place Astros, an offensive gap that essentially equals the distance between someone like Dustin Pedroia and Marco Scutaro.
I'm not going to crib Anderson's entire piece here, so be sure to check it out. There are some finds on just what kind of players are good two-strike hitters, as well as what type of hitters are better (or worse) in two-strike situations. If you don't have a Baseball Prospectus subscription, don't worry, as this one is free to read.
If you can't be bothered to read, just know that it appears, as usual, Boston knows what it's doing when building a lineup. Shocking, right?