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Monday's Three Astros Things

Talking about 2014 comparisons, AL West standings and emojis...

Some things to talk about while Tony Sipp has nice things to say about his right fielder...

1) Comparing 2014 to 2015

We all like to overreact to the first games of any new season. For comparison, I looked back at how the Astros played through the first six games of 2014 to see how the first six of 2015 stack up.

  • Houston has scored four fewer runs this year than last (16 to 20).
  • The Astros have three more hits as a team (40-37), but have hit two fewer home runs (7-9).
  • One of those 2014 homers was off the bat of Jesus Guzman. He'd hit one more for the rest of the year.
  • Houston has struck out nine more times this season (61-52) and walked three more times (21-18).
  • The Astros pitching staff has allowed 13 fewer earned runs (14-27) in four more innings. That's good for an ERA two full runs lower than at this point last year (2.17-4.50).
  • Astros pitchers struck out two more batters (43-41) and walked one more (19-18).
  • Overall, the Astros have given up nine fewer runs (18-27).

2) Division standings

Speaking of 2015, after Sunday's game, the Astros are tied with the Mariners for first place in the American League West.

While this seems preposterously early to point out any trends or division standings, remember this: Only the Oakland A's had a better BaseRuns total than the Astros in the AL West through the first week. BaseRuns, which is a FanGraphs measure of team performance, has Houston's other three AL West foes in the bottom eight in the majors.

Here's also a reminder that while early season trends don't mean much, early season games do. These divisional games against the Rangers, A's, Angels and Mariners in the next couple of weeks will absolutely matter if the Astros have any illusions at competing this year.

How do you see the division so far? Who's surprised you in the first week? Does King Felix's injury hurt the M's more than any single player could affect another AL West team? Will he actually miss any time?

3) Emojis in the comments

Pretty exciting news, you guys.

You can finally use emojis on TCB. Starting Tuesday morning, emojis will be enabled in the comments.

That's right, you can express your love of George Springer with a :100: or your disgust with another Gattis strikeout with a:rage:.

I have no idea how most emojis function, because I am an old man who's just not old enough to yell at clouds yet. But, I hear the kids really like them. Maybe you will too.

Give them a spin, see if you like them and tell your friends. Maybe give us a :thumbsup: if they work for you.