What a fine start to the weekend for Houston Astros’ fans after a character-revealing three-run rally in the ninth lifts them to a 3-2 win in the opener to the series with the Angels. The cherry on top of the sundae was the first major league hit by rookie Preston Tucker, a huge, clutch RBI single that tied the game in the ninth as he went 1-for-3 with a walk and two major league pop-ups in his debut.
The Free Blog Weekend is a great chipalatta.com family tradition dating back to when Al Gore invented the Internet. And as it implies, you are free to write about anything you want as long as it is done in a respectful and family friendly way.
But if you would like a conversation starter, here is a little exercise called “What is More Likely?”
We’ll list a few statistical trends for the Astros and pose a comparative question for your discussion and response.
1) Entering Friday’s games the Astros are 19-10 and 6 games up in their division. They are on pace for a 106-56 record.
- What is more likely: The Astros finishing within 5 games of the division lead or the Astros losing more than 85 games?
2) As of Wednesday’s games: the Astros had 5 players on pace for at least 60 RBIs (Evan Gattis, George Springer, Luis Valbuena, Jose Altuve, and Jake Marisnick) with two of them (Gattis and Altuve) on pace for more than 100 RBIs. Chris Carter is on pace for 57 RBIs.
- What is more likely: Jose Altuve finishing with more than 80 RBIs or Chris Carter finishing with less than 70 RBIs?
3) Dallas Keuchel is leading all qualifiers (At least one inning pitched per game the team has played) in the AL with an unworldly 4.2 hits allowed/9 IP and a great 0.756 WHIP. In the last 10 years the best full season numbers were 6.2 Hits/9 IP (Yu Darvish 2013/Justin Verlander 2011) and a 0.915 WHIP (King Felix Hernandez 2014).
- What is more likely – Keuchel ending the season with less than 6.0 hits/9 IP or a WHIP over 1.00?
4) After Wednesday’s games the Houston Astros’ pitching staff has an ERA of 3.49 compared to 4.11 in 2015. The ERA for the starters is actually higher this season (4.22) vs. last year (3.82) as the improvement is due to a bullpen posting an ERA (2.16) that is less than half of last season’s (4.80).
- What is more likely: This year’s starters ERA ending up better than last season or this year’s bullpen beating last season’s ERA by more than 2 runs (2.80 or lower)?
5) The Astros are on a pace for 1487 strikeouts in 2015. The 2013 Astros hold the major league record with 1535 strikeouts in a season.
- What is more likely: The Astros setting a new mlb record for strikeouts or Jim Crane shutting down the air conditioning and cooling MMP off with bat whiffing power?
6) The Astros lead the AL with 42 HRs; Seattle is 2nd with 35. The Astros also lead the AL with 33 SBs; Detroit is 2nd with 25.
- What is more likely: The Astros lead the league in HRs or the Astros lead the league in SBs or the Astros lead the league in both?
So, the weekend is up to you…. what do you want to talk about?