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Projecting the Astros Hitters at the Quarter Mark

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If they can keep this up, it will be gaudy.

MLB: Texas Rangers at Houston Astros Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

I thought it would be fun to take the first quarter stats of the Astros and project those numbers out for the entire season. OK, I can already hear you scream: “You can’t do that. Nobody has four identical quarters. Forty games is too small a sample size to project.”

I hear you. I heard you a long time ago. But damn it, this is a Houston Astros fan blog and we love our Stros. So don’t tell me George Springer can’t hit 52 home runs. Hell, he might hit 62. Or that Michael Brantley can’t hit 40 home runs. Or Justin Verlander can’t get 24 wins. Quoting our first African-American President, I say “Yes they can.”

If the Astros can bench Collin McHugh based on only four bad games, I hereby declare my freedom from the tyranny of small sample size oppression. So screw Steamer, and Depth Charts, ZiPS, and PECOTA. Here are my easy pleazy, multiply times four, fanboy projections for the 2019 World Champion Houston Astros.

Player and team hitting at 40 game mark, and projected out to 162 game schedule

Player at 40 games wRC+ runs/projected runs RBI/ Proj. RBI HR/ Proj HR fWAR/Proj fWAR
Player at 40 games wRC+ runs/projected runs RBI/ Proj. RBI HR/ Proj HR fWAR/Proj fWAR
George Springer 166 30/120 33/132 13/52 2.0/8.0
Michael Brantley 168 25/100 29/116 10/40 1.8/7.2
Alex Bregman 148 20/80 26/104 10/40 1.8/7.2
Robinson Chirinos 155 18/72 18/72 5/20 1.3/5.2
Carlos Correa 142 19/76 23/92 9/36 1.3/5.2
Jose Altuve 119 21/84 21/84 9/36 0.8/3.2
Jake Marisnick 129 13/42 6/24 3/12 0.7/2.8
Josh Reddick 124 17/68 10/40 3/12 0.5/2.0
Yuli Gurriel 109 19/76 13/42 3/12 0.1/0.4
Tony Kemp 58 7/28 4/16 2/8 0.1/0.4
Tyler White 98 6/24 3/12 0/0 0.1/0.4
Max Stassi 21 3/12 3/12 1/4 0.0/0.0
Aledmys Diaz 75 8/32 15/60 3/12 -0.1/-0.4
Team 129 206/824 204/816 71/284 10.4/41.6

OK, I’ll back down a little. We all know that some of these numbers are a little inflated. Jose Altuve seems like a long shot for 36 home runs, and Michael Brantley would double his previous season output at 40. And 116 RBI for Uncle Mike? But outlier seasons do happen. Luis Gonzalez had 57 homers one season, almost double his next best season. Remember the Marwin Gonzalez of 2017?

But as far as Springer making 52, or Bregman making 40, they both hit two in the first game of the new quarter. Why not?

And a few of these are kind of deflated too. I have a feeling that once Tyler White gets one homer, they will start coming in bunches, and the RBI too.

The team projection, being a much broader sample, is probably more realistic than any one players’ projection. At 25-15 the Astros are on track to win 100 or 101 games. Why not? If 129 wRC+ holds, a BIG if, it would make the 2019 Astros the greatest slugging team in history, the 1927 Yankees next best at 126, and the 2017 Astros among the best at 122.

But even though the 129 projects better than the 2017 Astros, this team would score fewer runs at current rates, 896 to 824. It would get more home runs, 284 to 238.

Why the lower run production in 2019 with greater hitting production? The BA with runners in scoring position in 2019 is .245. In 2017 that number was .294.

When Houston teams win championships, they really are Clutch City.