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2015 Astros’ projections: Stats, winners and leaders


2015 is here. Only 186 days ago, the Astros had named their newest manager, Jon Singleton and Jonathan Villar were still starters, Houston was wrapping up a 19-game improvement over 2013, and — unbeknownst to most — Jeff Luhnow was dusting off The Plan and breaking out some pencils to make a few adjustments.

Now, with one huge game under its belt, Houston has put a indelible stamp on the beginning of a new year and perhaps new era with a 2-0 shutout in the season opener. Most everything went right, except the plan worked backward. It was pitching and defense — and not the big boppers — that left the mark. It was a small-ball approach more reminiscent of those ’86 Astros than of the home run-heavy team fans had been prepared for.

What’s ahead after the Astros wined and dined fans and a national audience with that candle lit dinner with the moon roof open? Chip, Dan and Brian are here with some basic predictions on this off day. Feel free to jump in as there is only one rule today: If you take issue with any of their predictions, you must put your own predictions forward.

Enjoy…your Houston Astros are in first place!

Chip Dan Brian
Astros wins in ’15 85 84 84
AL West Winner Seattle Oakland Los Anaheim
Astros’ finish Third Tie-Third Third
Most Wins/pitcher 15/Keuchel 16/McHugh 15/ Keuchel, McHugh
Gregerson saves 34 31 33
Most HRs Springer Springer  42 Springer
Most RBI Carter Springer  93 Springer
Surprise player Valbuena Lowrie Lowrie
Comeback player Feldman/Villar Castro Castro
MVP Springer Springer Springer
Altuve over/under BA .334 .330 .331
# players with 150+ Ks 5 4 4 (Rasmus is injured)
# players with 25 HRs 3 3 3
Most likely to be traded at deadline Oberholtzer Feldman Rasmus (if not injured)
Most likely to bomb by deadline Rasmus Hernandez Hernandez
Best Astros’ Rookie Wojciechowski Wojo Wojo
Trade deadline: Buyer or seller? Buyer Buyer Seller, barely
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About Chip Bailey

Chip Bailey lives in beautiful Colorado Springs, CO, and wakes up each morning to the tallest spot in the region, Pikes Peak. He is an author and former sports editor and sportswriter who has followed the Astros for more than 50 years. A native of another picturesque city, Natchitoches, La., Chip enjoys watching baseball at most any level, especially pro and college. Several years ago, he worked as an associate of Pastor John Bosman, who enjoyed giving nick names to his staff. Pastor Bosman came up with Chipalatta, and it has stuck.

54 comments on “2015 Astros’ projections: Stats, winners and leaders

  1. BrianT
    April 7, 2015

    You two are crazy.

    Except, you know, where you agree with me.

    Like

    • Chip Bailey
      April 7, 2015

      Oh yeah?! Well, if you think Springer will be the MVP of this team, then…oh, wait…

      Nevermind.

      Like

    • Dan P
      April 7, 2015

      In some cases I changed my answer to show I was not as crazy as you guys…

      Like

      • Chip Bailey
        April 7, 2015

        It should be known that I made my predictions before seeing either of your responses…

        Like

      • BrianT
        April 7, 2015

        It’s like I picked a fight.

        Like

      • Chip Bailey
        April 7, 2015

        Well, Brian, we’ve all three been confirmed crazy below, called louie, huey and dewey and our commentary has been challenged. Uggh, perhaps we should form an alliance…

        Like

  2. Mr. Bill
    April 7, 2015

    You three are all crazy. But hey, I actually LOVE crazy.

    Win total: 80
    Division winner: Seattle
    Stro’s finish: fourth
    Most wins: Keuchel – 13
    The kilt-wearer’s saves: 26
    Dinger Donor – Springer 35
    RBI Grinder – Springer 91
    Happy Birthday to me – Sclafani
    comeback, breaker 19 – Peacock
    Value Buster – Altuve
    ‘Tuve’s BA over/under – .353/.315
    Players with 150+ Ks – 5 [Carter, Castro, Springer, Gattis, Rasmus]
    Players w/ 25+ dingers – 3 [Carter, Springer, Gattis]
    Fish or cut bait – Feldman/Carter/Grossman/Gonzalez
    I.E.D. in the road – R. Hernandez
    R.O.Y – Sclafani
    @ deadline – neither borrowers nor lenders be – only sell very high, only buy very low

    Like

    • Dan P
      April 7, 2015

      So is .315 – .353 the range for Altuve’s BA? That looks reasonable – just checking what you meant.

      Like

      • Mr. Bill
        April 7, 2015

        Yes, I am just suggesting a range of Altuve ‘good’ to Altuve ‘MVP’.

        Like

  3. 1oldpro
    April 7, 2015

    Astros wins-84
    AL West winner-Mariners
    Astros finish-third
    Most wins Keuchel -17
    Gregerson saves-17
    Most HRs- Carter 34
    Most rbi’s- Springer-90
    Surprise player- Rasmus
    Comeback player- Rasmus
    MVP-Keuchel
    Altuve over/ under- .342/.327
    Players with 150 Ks- Springer Carter Gattis
    Players w/ 25 HRs- Springer Carter Gattis
    Most likely to be traded at deadline- Rasmus
    Most likely to bomb by deadline-Wojo
    Best Astro’s rookie-Wojo
    Trade deadline buyer/seller- Both

    Like

    • Dan P
      April 7, 2015

      I hope Gregerson blows away that saves number – do you think he will falter or they will give save opportunities to others? I mean Qualls had 19 last season…

      Like

      • Chip Bailey
        April 7, 2015

        Dan, Hinch named Gregerson his closer. As long as he delivers, no need to go in another direction, except on a rare day when Gregerson may not be available. Gregerson has the stuff and for some reason, I think Hinch will be decisive and support his players…and his choices. That’s just me…

        Like

      • Dan P
        April 7, 2015

        I agree Chip – I was just wondering what op was thinking to limit him to 17 saves. Is it injury or replacement you know – because otherwise I think he will be given plenty of opportunites to better that.

        Like

      • 1oldpro
        April 7, 2015

        I think Gregerson won’t be our only closer this year.

        Like

  4. rj
    April 7, 2015

    ok huey, dewey and louie (and i say that with nostalgic affection) its hard to argue with your predictions, but ill try. keuchel flirts with 20 wins. players with 25 homers carter, springer, gattis AND rasmus (although he gets his 25th with another team) with valbueno making a run at it but falling short. surprise player – marisnick. great job and this post guys. it really was hard to find alternate answers.

    Like

    • rj
      April 7, 2015

      ps. i think conger has a big positive effect with the pitching staff so ill call him the surprise player. GREAT GAME last night.

      Like

    • Chip Bailey
      April 7, 2015

      Not sure if I should take the “huey, dewey and louie” as a compliment or be offended. Nonetheless, I believe it’s interesting that many predict Rasmus will have a career year and will be traded. If the Astros are having a decent season in late June/early July, can’t see Rasmus going away…especially if he is having a decent season. He’s Luhnow’s boy, twice over now. I realize he’s on a one year deal, but at 27, I wonder if Luhnow wouldn’t be inclined to add to that if he makes the comeback that most also believe will happen.

      So…here’s the question: What has to happen to make Rasmus expendable? In other words, who pushes him off the island? Grossman? Singleton? Santana? Someone else?

      Like

      • Dan P
        April 7, 2015

        I’ll say Preston Tucker is the most likely to bump Rasmus (plus a poor 1st half of the season by some combination of Rasmus and the Astros).

        Like

      • rj
        April 7, 2015

        just a whimsical off the cuff remark chip, certainly no offense meant. i enjoy the blog and respect all the work you guys put into it.
        the rasmus thing i think could shake out like this, singleton (finally) gets his act together and pushes his way back into the lineup, that pushes gattis to left on a majority of his games, leaving rasmus with less playing time and a trade candidate who brings us a piece we are lacking at the time. another BP arm perhaps or shore up a position that is thin due to injury.

        Like

      • Dan P
        April 7, 2015

        Being a Disney-phile – I actually like the mischievous nephews of Donald who know how to get his goat. It is kind of like Chip, Dan and Brian writing to get bopert’s goat.

        Of course maybe we could be Chip and Dale (Dan) with our chipmunk cousin – Brian.

        Liked by 1 person

      • 1oldpro
        April 7, 2015

        My thinking on Rasmus. Luhnow is the guy who came out and actually said that Rasmus has a chance to use his time in Houston as a springboard to a multiyear deal somewhere. Luhnow said that.
        I believe Rasmus is really going to like Houston, but Luhnow is the guy who dealt with Rasmus and he has the idea of what Rasmus wants for a long term deal. Are the Astros going to offer Rasmus a long term deal? If Rasmus has a good first half, his value will never be higher than at the trade deadline. Tucker and Kemp are waiting in the wings, both can play LF, both will be Major league minimum for years.
        If they wait till the end of the season, they will have to extend him, tag him($15million) or just let him walk.
        Bottom line: If Rasmus shines, the Astros are going to get something(things) good for him from someone at the deadline. If Tucker is hitting over .300 at AAA he’s a LH bat who you can plug in LF and bat him in the #8 slot at one sixteenth of the salary and the Astros pick up good prospects for Rasmus.
        The trade deadline is when you pick up good players for 2016 and beyond. by giving up Colby to a team that thinks he is their key to the playoffs because their CF/RF/LF is on the DL. They fog out the future because the present makes them weak.
        It makes sense to me, because 2016 and beyond has been the plan all along. . But that’s just me.

        Like

      • rj
        April 7, 2015

        i agree OP. he is set up to be traded at the deadline IF he is having a good year. he brings prospects or a player to fill a hole due to injury or ineffectiveness at the time and you wave bye to that 8 million salary. lets hope thats what happens. although it wouldn’t hurt my feelings if chip is right and he is having such a good year you don’t wanna let him go.

        Like

      • Chip Bailey
        April 7, 2015

        OP, you’re right of course. Taking a deeper look, Luhnow will have $$$ to work with in the off season, but, unfortunately, a lot of those $$$ will be used for arbitration-eligible players he’ll want to keep (e.g. Gattis, Keuchel, Fields, maybe Valbuena, Carter, Castro).

        One thought not mentioned yet: Rasmus’ future may be determined in part on how well Marisnick plays in the first three months. If Marisnick is the one who bombs (he won’t bomb defensively), it could change the perspective. If you ultimately have Springer, Marisnick and Kemp/Tucker in the OF, it means an OF consisting of only a few years collectively in the majors. Very young..

        Like

      • BrianT
        April 7, 2015

        Wait, wait, wait. Am I Huey, Dewey or Louie?

        Like

      • Chip Bailey
        April 7, 2015

        Yes, Brian, you are… 🙂

        Like

      • rj
        April 7, 2015

        if i had meant to be mean i would have called y’all three members of congress…..

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Devin_
    April 7, 2015

    Brian, did you pick the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, formerly the state of California, simply to make the joke? Personally, I think Seattle flounders and finishes third behind LA and whichever of Houston and Oakland can get above 83 wins.

    Chip, my remark on TOR pitches on the last post was along the lines of what if we’d bought one of those guys for $25 million a year instead of getting the bullpen guys, Rasmus, Valbuena, and Lowrie. I don’t think any add enough regular season wins above the guys in our rotation to be worth it. If we had unlimited funds like LA/Boston, it would be a different story…

    Like

  6. 1oldpro
    April 7, 2015

    Alex Presley placed on outright waivers this morning. Three possible outcomes:
    Someone claims him and he goes to them and they pay that salary.
    No one claims him and he goes to our minors. We pay that salary.
    No one claims him and he chooses FA. No one pays that salary.

    Like

    • BrianT
      April 7, 2015

      I bet he gets picked up.

      Like

    • Chip Bailey
      April 7, 2015

      I’m guessing Oakland or Seattle takes a flyer on him. Although, if they weren’t able to work out a trade, then teams may wait until he’s a FA and pick him up then…

      Of course, he can keep his $1 million salary if he chooses Fresno…and that does provide another option for Luhnow…maybe not a bad deal all in all…

      Or maybe San Diego will pick him up, then trade him to Atlanta, who will DFA him again.

      Like

    • Devin_
      April 7, 2015

      Keep in mind he is out of options, so any team claiming him has to stick him on their 25 man roster.

      Like

  7. rj
    April 7, 2015

    another bold prediction, increased revenue leads to increased spending. we are making progress there as well.
    The Astros’ first regular-season game telecast on Root Sports Southwest, which made the games available to DirecTV and AT&T U-verse customers for the first time since 2012, paid immediate audience dividends Monday.

    Houston’s opening win over the Indians produced a combined 4.1 Nielsen rating for an average audience of more than 94,000 of the Houston area’s 2.3 million television households. That included a 2.1 rating on Root Sports Southwest and a 2.0 rating on ESPN, which aired the game nationally.

    Astros games in 2014 averaged a 0.35 rating (about 8,000 households) on Comcast SportsNet Houston, which was purchased out of bankruptcy last fall by AT&T and DirecTV and relaunched as Root Sports Southwest.

    DirecTV and AT&T U-verse, which did not subscribe to CSN Houston, boosted the new channel’s distribution by more than 600,000 households in the Houston area and more than four million over a five-state area. The channel still is not available from Dish Network, Suddenlink, Charter, Grande Communications or Time Warner Cable, among others.

    Three Astros games in 2013-14 averaged a 0.0 Nielsen rating as CSN Houston struggled to gain distribution.

    per the spit place

    Like

    • Becky
      April 7, 2015

      Comcast/Xfinity are carrying the Astros. I’m switching this week, to Xfinity. I’m sick and tired of “trying” to listen to the games, when 790am goes dark after 7:30P.M.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Steven
    April 7, 2015

    Tail end but I’ll answer before I see anyone elses goes –

    Wins – 78
    West – LAA
    Finish – 4th
    Wins – 13/Keuchel
    Gregerson saves – 26
    Most HR – Springer
    RBI – Springer
    surprise player – Valbuena
    comeback player – not really
    MVP – Springer
    Altuve over/under – .338
    how many over 150 – given that we won’t get 140+ games from Gattis, Rasmus, Marisnick, Castro, or Valbuena – I’ll go 2 only
    25 homer club – 2 Carter and Springer
    Most likely traded – I don’t know they will move anyone, but if Rasmus is even decent and we are more than 5 games out, he is probably gone
    Bomb by deadline – Rasmus, though I wouldn’t be suprised by Feldman or Marisnick
    Best rookie – Can’t mince picking Wojo
    Deadline – kinda just there, stagnant

    Like

  9. 1oldpro
    April 7, 2015

    In seven innings of pitching last night, Dallas Keuchel did not have one ball hit to CF or RF. Not. None. Nada.

    Like

    • Dan P
      April 7, 2015

      That is remarkable op. I remember Rasmus making a very good play out in LF and I was not able to ermember any by Springer or Marisnick…. and now I know why.

      Like

    • Devin_
      April 7, 2015

      So after one game the defensive metrics say that JFSF and Springer are the worst two outfielders in baseball then?

      Like

      • 1oldpro
        April 7, 2015

        Even further advanced stats tells us that batters are afraid to even hit the ball to them. Fearmetrics!

        Like

  10. daveb
    April 7, 2015

    78 wins
    Angels
    4th place
    Keuchel, 16, he’s the real deal.
    Gregerson, 30
    Springer 40
    Springer 100
    Surprise? Valbuena.
    Comeback? Castro, but he’ll still have an unremarkable season.
    MVP Springer, Keuchel
    150 K’s, 4 guys
    25 homers, 3 guys
    Feldman goes, Gattis might go.
    Bomb? Hernandez, maybe Gattis too.
    Rookie? Sclafani, but that would mean several injuries, so I’m not hoping for it.
    Deadline, sell.

    Like

    • daveb
      April 7, 2015

      I forgot about Altuve. He won’t regress. He might not quite hit
      .341, but he’ll improve on his OBP and maybe his OPS too.

      Like

  11. 1oldpro
    April 7, 2015

    After waiting for almost a week to find out why the Astros didn’t have a player listed as a SS on their AAA roster, Jayne Hansen says that Nolan Fontana has been promoted to Fresno. Now, please don’t be upset w/me. Mighty Joe Sclafani was lister on the roster as a 3B. Fontana, Dominguez and Torreyes might push Sclafani to a utility guy, which I abhor!
    Jayne also is reporting what I read yesterday, that Mrs. Weiland has tweeted that the Weilands are moving on to the next chapter in their lives.
    All of this has me feeling lost, marooned on an Island of small crabs. I wonder if Jeff said: Kyle, I got nothin’ for ya”, just like on Survivor. I wonder if Kyle even knows he’s been voted off. There are no phones on that island.

    Like

    • Dan P
      April 7, 2015

      So are you saying that the Weilands are moving on to the next chapter together or separately – like is Mrs. Weiland going to try and be Mrs. Mark Appel and make it to the big time another way…

      Like

      • 1oldpro
        April 7, 2015

        It means Kyle is not with the Astros.

        Like

    • daveb
      April 7, 2015

      Seems we’re bound to have to watch Sclafani become a success in another organization. He never even got a look in ST.

      Like

      • Mr. Bill
        April 7, 2015

        Careful now, Daveb – you’ll start a ‘Free Joe Sclafani’ movement around here.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Becky
        April 7, 2015

        Just like Holmes used to about Luke Scott!!

        Like

  12. 1oldpro
    April 7, 2015

    Carlos Carrasco, who pitches for Cleveland tomorrow, signed a four year extension today. In the final two months of last season, Carrasco was almost unhittable. Taken from the bullpen he exploded as a starter and that is the fulfillment of a guy who always showed great stuff but no command. He matched Kluber in his last eight starts and features an upper nineties fastball, a terrific slider and a changeup.
    Anxious to see how our RH power hitters tackle him.

    Like

    • Steeeve
      April 7, 2015

      There’s an extended discussion on Carrasco in the baseball preview issue of Sports Illustrated. When he returned as a starter the Indians told him to pitch like a reliever i.e., throw as hard as he can as long as he can. That meant 5-6 innings per start but effective while he was in there.

      Like

  13. 1oldpro
    April 7, 2015

    Alex white was put on waivers with Presley and we will find out more tomorrow about the status of both.

    Like

  14. astrocolt45
    April 8, 2015

    Thought I should jump in with a few of my predictions. The Astros will play 162 gams and win some of them. AL West winner will be one of five teams. The Astros will finish in Arizona. Keuchel will have at least one win. Dang, I have got to quit watching those politicians on C-SPAN.

    Like

  15. 1oldpro
    April 8, 2015

    politician- illegitimate offspring that is the result of greed mating with power.

    Like

  16. 1oldpro
    April 8, 2015

    So, knowing what the experts know now, after opening day is over, I wonder where Dallas Keuchel would be rated among the thirty starting pitchers?

    Like

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