The quarter pole of a baseball season is always a good time to do a check up on a major league team. Dan looked at some of the pros and cons from players thus far last week, but it clearly is time to drop the “it’s too early” mantra from the conversation.
After 41 of 162 games, the Astros are 27-14 and have been in first place for 36 days this season. Back on May 4, Houston had a seven-game lead, its biggest of the year thus far. Oakland is already 13 1/2 games back and considering selling early.
Frankly, the Astros have set so many firsts or bests thus far, it’s just too many to list here. Something “new” has happened virtually every day over the last few weeks. Best start since, most this or least that. Attendance is up, the minor leagues are producing major league talent and Houston is doing all the winning without one of its key off-season acquisitions (shortstop Jed Lowrie), weak hitting from three key players (Chris Carter, Evan Gattis and George Springer) and a revolving door in the #5 spot in the rotation.
Dallas Keuchel is the best pitcher in the American League, Jose Altuve is still Jose Altuve and Jeff Luhnow has been behind the scenes since spring training. Exactly where he should be. And how ’bout A.J. Hinch. Not a word. Not a peep. Managing from strength and continually running out a successful lineup (39 different lineup cards in 41 games) despite injuries, poor performance (3 regulars hitting below .200), and other players being away from the club.
So, just how good are the Astros? Can they carry this winning deep into the summer? Will Gattis, Carter and Springer ever top .200? And when will Carlos Correa hit the scene?
All are good questions, but take the day to just bask in the success story of the first fourth of the season that has been the Houston Astros. Here is a quick look at some current numbers and extrapolations for the 162-game season. Doubtful that Keuchel will finish 24-0, but that’s how well he’s done. Can late off-season pickup Roberto Hernandez really turn in 200 IP? And, could the Astros actually produce four 30-home run hitters?
Stay tuned…which of these is most likely to stand for the entire season? And, which have been done with smoke and mirrors?
|Team Projections||After 41||Projected 162|
|Record||27-14||107-55||Wins would be most in club history.|
|Runs Scored||182||719||Record: 938 in 2000|
|Strikeouts (Offensive)||371||1466||Record: 1535 in 2013.|
|Stolen Bases||39||154||Record: 198 in 1988.|
|Home Runs||61||241||Record: 249 in 2000|
|Strikeouts (Pitchers)||315||1245||Record: 1282 in 2004|
|Saves||16||64||Record: 41 in 1986.|
|Keuchel||Innings Pitched||64 2/3||255||255 would be fifth all-time.|
|McHugh||Innings Pitched||50 2/3||200|
|Roberto Hernandez||Innings Pitched||49 2/3||196|
|Scott Feldman||Innings Pitched||48||190|
|Luke Gregerson||Saves||10||40||Would be only fourth person to save 40.|
|Jose Altuve||Hits||52||205||Back-to-back 200-hit seasons.|
|Luis Valbuena||Home Runs||10||40|
|Evan Gattis||Home Runs||8||32|
|Colby Rasmus||Home Runs||8||32|
|Chris Carter||Home Runs||7||28|
|George Springer||Home Runs||6||24|
|Jose Altuve||Home Runs||5||20|
|Jason Castro||Home Runs||5||20|
|Altuve||Stolen Bases||14||64||Record: 65, Gerald Young 1988.|
|Jake Marisnick||Stolen Bases||9||36|
|Carter||Strike Outs||56||224||Record: Carter, 212, 2012.|