For the first time in the history of the MLB, the 2018 season saw the total number of batter hits be less than strikeouts. See chart below:
Hits have consistently been about 10,000+ higher than strikeouts for the last 40 years. Then, starting around 2009-2010, they have gradually decreased until this season, where strikeouts league-wide were more than hits.
What is the reason for this? Is it a symptom of umpiring somehow? I don't think it's steroids - it seems once a month a pitcher's name is called out for a lengthy suspension.