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Based on 2020, the Astros have a big RISP-situation problem entering 2021

Martín Maldonado was the Astros’ best hitter with runners in scoring position, while other regulars struggled heavily at the plate in those scenarios.

MLB: ALCS-Houston Astros at Tampa Bay Rays Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Before getting down to business, I want to shout out to user Robncypress57 for coming up with an idea for this article in the comments.

It’s not a secret that the Astros have a lot of work to do before the 2021 spring training, especially with their lineup. They will most likely lose three of their regular players (George Springer, Michael Brantley, and Josh Reddick) and need to find new players to fill those voids or re-sign at least one of them.

But one of the points they have to fix entering 2021 is their performance with RISP. In fact, they ranked 12th in the American League in OPS (.745), and in Springer and Brantley they lost their second and best hitters —in terms of OPS— with runners in scoring position this past season.

The team wasn’t good at all in situations it was supposed to be good and drive in some runs.

Their best hitter with RISP was Martín Maldonado, but considering how he’s performed offensively throughout his career, that won’t likely happen again in 2021, especially if we enjoy a 162-game regular season. Maldonado hit for a .375/.512/.625/1.137 slash line with 20 RBIs with RISP.

Only Springer (3) hit more than two home runs and important pieces like Carlos Correa and José Altuve accumulated more strikeouts than hits.

You can add the fact that there were everyday position players who struggled heavily with men at 2B and/or 3B. Take a look at the following table:


José Altuve .149 .216 .255 .471

Yuli Gurriel .200 .240 .262 .502

Carlos Correa .228 .338 .281 .619

Josh Reddick .250 .322 .385 .707

You’re probably not gonna have plenty of success when more than a third of your lineup can’t come through in RISP situations.

Taking into account regular players that were successful this year with RISP, the Astros only have Maldonado, Kyle Tucker, and Alex Bregman so far.

Obviously, it’s fair to expect that those guys mentioned above (Altuve, Gurriel, and Correa) can be better versions of themselves in 2021, but it’s unquestionable how busy the Astros will be in the next couple of months.