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Thursday's Three Astros Things

Talking about Dallas Keuchel, an old friend and Base Runs...

Some things to talk about while an Astro makes this 25-and-younger team...

1) The underrated Dallas Keuchel

Nice to see SportsCenter catching up to the rest of the baseball world. Dallas Keuchel is a national treasure. Everyone get on board.

2) Wandy's back

A million times or more I thought about you
The years, the tears, the laughter, things we used to do
Our memories, that warm me like a sunny day
You touched my life in such a special way
I miss the way you run your fingers through my hair
Those cozy nights we cuddled in your easy chair
Oh, no, I won't let foolish pride turn you away
I'll take you back whatever price I pay
Old friend, it's so nice to feel you hold me again
No, it doesn't matter where you have been
My heart welcomes you back home again

LHP Wandy Rodriguez, who signed a minor league deal with the club on opening day, will join the rotation Friday in Los Angeles. Slotting Rodriguez on Friday allows the Rangers to get Colby Lewis some extra rest and to push back Ross Detwiler a couple of days so he can work on mechanical issues with pitching coaches Mike Maddux and Andy Hawkins.

3) Base Runs

FanGraphs has a fancy metric to predict a team's success called Base Runs. It takes performance out of chained results, basically, and attempts to get at the meat of how a team has performed.

The Astros, clinging to an over .500 record, actually hold up really well by this. In fact, they're the ninth-best team in baseball by this mark.

Sure, their Base Runs record is still just 8-7, but with a run differential of plus-7, only eight teams have been more efficient than the Astros. So, good things are yet to come.

To put that into context, the Braves were at about plus-7 runs halfway through last season. That put them at 39-38, or right at .500.

What I'm saying is that if you hammered that Vegas over-under of 74 wins before the season, you're feeling pretty great. The Astros have been horrible offensively at key spots and are still playing like a team that could win 82 or 83 games.