It’s been a roller coaster ride since we last checked in. The Astros started this period sweeping the Seattle Mariners, then won one more in Arlington to extend a 10 game win streak, and since then have lost 4 of 6 games. So since the last article they are 6-4. After the Seattle series the Astros split a two-game series in Oakland, lost two of three in Arlington, and as I write they are about to begin the rubber match in their three game series at home against the Twins.
W-L 14-9, tied for first in AL West with Seattle, last week second place 4 games behind Seattle (editors note: since this was written the Astros are now 15-9 and 1⁄2 game ahead of Seattle.)
Pythagorean W-L 14-9, 113 runs, 91 runs allowed, SRS 1.4, best in AL
Astros Hitting through 4-23
Astros Team Hitting: Season to 4-23
Astros Hitting last 14 days
Astros Team Hitting: Last 14 days
The Astros started this period 2nd in the AL at 129 wRC+ and remain second in AL at 129 wRC+. But when this period began the Mariners were almost 30 points higher. Today they lead the Astros by only one point. For the two weeks the Astros were ahead of the second place Rays by a wide margin, 147-139, and the Mariners have cooled off considerably, hitting only 105 since the beginning of this period. The slugging 2017 Astros finished the season with a 122 wRC+ for comparison purposes.
Astros Individual Hitting, Year to Date
Well this is ridiculous. The Astros could field a nine man lineup where the worst hitter had a 117 OPS+. Alex Bregman, the supposedly slow starting Alex Bregman, George Springer, and Jose Altuve are all above 150 OPS+. Lest you need a reminder, that means 50% better than league average. In terms of wRC+ Bregman is 12th in the AL, Springer is 16th, and Altuve is 21st. Springer is on track for the best season of his career.
Jose Altuve is second in the AL in home runs. What? George Springer is fourth. The rejuvenated Josh Reddick is second in the AL in batting average. Alex Bregman is sixteenth. The Astros have three outfielders, Springer, Reddick, and Michael Brantley in early contention for All Stars. And of course, three infielders, Altuve, Bregman and Carlos Correa, looking like himself again with a healthy back.
Individual Hitting, 4/11-4/23
This is what a HOT hitting team looks like. And for the two week period, Josh Reddick was leading the way, George Springer not far behind, and look! Tyler White, over 1.000 OPS. Jose Altuve and George Springer each had four home runs. On the flip side of White, Jake Marisnick has started to cool off, and Max Stassi and Tony Kemp are still waiting for their seasons to launch. In Kemp’s defense, he has been striken with a .167 BABIP.
What an unexpected plus Robinson Chirinos has been. Besides his season 125 OPS+, he is third in the AL among catchers at 0.6 fWAR, including a 1.8 defensive rating.
Tomorrow we take a statistical dive into the Astros pitching for the season, and for the two-week period.