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SB Nation Reacts: Confidence waning for the Astros’ pitching staff

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MLB: Houston Astros at Oakland Athletics Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across MLB. Each week, we send 30 polls to plugged-in fans from each team. Astros fans, sign up HERE to join Reacts.

Entering Friday, the Astros as a pitching staff ranked 10th in the AL in ERA (4.47), 7th in runs allowed (80), and 9th in strikeout-minus-walk rate (14.9 percent). While the staff hasn’t been downright awful, its underperformance to start the season has been a concerning trend. The starting rotation, in particular, hasn’t thrown deep enough into the games to prevent a strain on a limited bullpen. Zack Greinke has three of the club’s four starts that went at least six innings; Jose Urquidy has the remaining one.

The bullpen is banged up at the moment, with Enoli Paredes, Pedro Báez, Josh James, Andre Scrubb, Austin Pruitt, and Blake Taylor all residing on the IL. With limited depth, the Astros’ relief corps have been exposed to additional innings as the rotation has generally failed to pitch deep into games. While the overall inning count ranks 11th in the AL in innings (66 1/3), their performance has been decidedly subpar in the first 18 games of the season with a 4.75 ERA and 37 runs allowed.

Fans are not forgetting about this recent performance as their overall confidence in the staff is trending lower. At 43 percent, the Astros will need to start regaining some health and putting together solid outings across the board for that confidence level to rise.

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