There are natural ebbs and flows during a baseball season, a marathon of 162 games, plus the postseason if your team is fortunate. Peaks and valleys, if you will. Optimism will run high at times and low at others. It is just the nature of baseball where streaks, good and bad, are common.
The 2021 Astros have experienced their fair share of both the peaks and valleys this season. Back in mid-April, they had a particularly rough ten-game stretch with a 1-9 record against the A’s, Mariners, and the Rockies. Doubt grew whether the pitching staff could keep pace with a reliable offense. The fear was Houston would have to win, thanks to their deep lineup primarily. Unfortunately, due to a lack of depth thanks to various injuries and ineffectiveness, it was a valid concern. In fact, it remains a concern if certain arms can’t remain healthy, no matter the season.
But, thanks to the return of a couple of starters, the Astros pitching depth has stabilized to some degree. The offense is the best in baseball with a 127 wRC+. If there is weakness, it remains a bullpen that hasn’t returned to full health. That said, the unit’s performance in June inspires some confidence. In conjunction with this lineup and an impressive, if unspectacular, starting staff, Houston has been on fire lately with a current 11-game winning streak. This strong stretch in June has helped confidence in this team gradually rise to 82 percent, which is only a few percentage points below its high point of 85 percent back in mid-April. You know, before that rough ten-game stretch that I mentioned earlier.
During this 11-game winning streak, the Astros have outscored their opponents by 69 runs. The offense has scored less than six runs in a game only twice during that stretch. In addition, the pitching staff has allowed more than three runs in a game only once, and that was four runs to the Rangers on June 16. With a doubleheader scheduled today in Detroit, let’s see if this win streak can continue and how long this confidence momentum can carry on.
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