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Astros Crawfish Boil: June 17th, 2018

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Start your week with the top Astros and baseball headlines

MLB: Houston Astros at Kansas City Royals Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Last night the Astros (48-25) came from behind to beat the Royals 7-4 to extend the team’s winning streak to eleven. Houston is firing on all cylinders - they just swept a ten game road-steak, in which they outscored their opponents 74-35.

More good news - Bill Brown’s temporarily returning this week (more below). Even more good news - the Mariners (46-26) finally lost a game, so now the Astros lead the AL West by a game and a half.

Tonight, the Astros open up a three game series against the Rays to kickoff a nine game home-stand. Houston is in the midst of a much needed soft stretch after a brutal schedule to start the season, as the team will go on to face the Kansas City and Toronto before heading to Tampa and Arlington. After that, they’ll host the White Sox, Athletics, and Tigers before going into the All-Star Break.

Morning Astros Brew

Last Night: Astros Sweep Road Trip, Come From Behind to Beat Royals 7-4

History Earned: Astros Draft Tracker - Who’s Signed and Who Has Not?

The Astros have signed seven of their top ten draft picks, with Seth Beer slotted to make $2.25-million.

Retired Astros Broadcaster to Return for Rays Series

You’ll need to tune in on your radio, but long-time Astros play-by-play announcer Bill Brown is returning to the booth. He’s filling in for Steve Spark’s during the club’s three game series with Tampa. You can catch Brownie on 790 AM.

Chron: If Only the Astros Could Hit at Home Like They Do On the Road

Interesting read - its been established that Minute Maid is not nearly the hitter’s park many think it is, and this helps elaborate why. While the Crawfish Boxes allow right-handed hitters easy homerun opportunities, the nature of the wall allows the left-fielder to cover more gaps and make plays on well-hit balls that would normally fall for hits. Springer and Bregman endorsed this idea, but the data also suggest this effect has been exaggerated. In other words, no more excuses - just go hit.

Forrest Whitley 2018 AA Highlights:

Whitley has been unhittable in his return to the AA Chorpus Christi Hooks. He’s gone eight scoreless innings, surrendering just three hits and two walks with eleven strikeouts.

The Gnomer Launched Another Homer

This time for a grand-slam. Evan Gattis has been so unfathomably hot that despite his slow start to the season, he is currently outmashing Giancarlo Stanton - he owns a higher wRC+ (121 vs 114), ISO (.260 vs .238), and homerun rate.

Around the Show

MLB: These Ten Makeup Our All-Phenom Team

The criteria is Major League players 23 and younger. Carlos Correa represents the Astros as the list’s top young shortstop.

MLB: Pirates GM Looking to Buy Rather than Sell at Deadline

It’s a bold outlook for a team seven games back in the NL Central, but I like it. Baseball needs more teams going for it when they have a slim shot before the league is fully bitten by the tanking bug. Of course, it could be all talk, and the Pirates could easily sell additional veteran assets if they fail to make up ground in the NL Central quickly.

Fangraphs: Replay is Fine, Everyone

A lot of data to sift through but the main thesis is this - people overestimate how long replays take, and they have a high enough success rate to justify having them. Toronto has spent more time than any other team waiting on replay calls, which has come out to 0.57% of the team’s total playing time on the season, or about 58 minutes total.

Brewers Adam Houster Thows Up Twice On Mound, Finishes Inning

What a trooper. Video is hyperlinked and not embedded for those who didn’t want to regurgitate their morning kolaches and cofee. Adrian

Nick Markakis Diving Catch Buries Padres:

Billy Hamilton Has Himself a Day, Including a Ridiculous Diving Catch: