The man who will throw the next no-hitter stands in a hallway outside the visitor's clubhouse at Turner Field. He smiles when he is told that his career stats resemble the average career stats of every pitcher who has thrown a no-hitter at the time he threw it. He laughs at the prediction that follows: That means he'll throw the next one.

To heck with jinxes, he doesn't mind talking about throwing a no-hitter. "Bring it!" he says. "I hope you're a fortune-teller."

And so Adam Wainwright, the St. Louis Cardinals righthander, takes a copy of the stats—the stats that say he fits the profile of pitchers who have thrown no-hitters—and a few minutes later, he and a teammate are poring over them.

No-hitters were the talk of the first half of the season, with five being thrown, including two perfect games, a six-pitcher effort by the Seattle Mariners and the first in New York Mets history. There are many reasons for this record-setting pace, but all of them boil down to two simple facts: Pitchers are better, and hitters are worse.