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Way back in March, what did the “experts” think of Astros?


In the field of consulting engineering there is an old joke that goes something like this. An expert is anyone who lives more than 200 miles away, makes twice as much as your own employees do, but knows half as much.

And then there are the “experts” who populate the baseball prediction world. The nice thing about the baseball prediction business is that there is really no accountability. The first week of April, the “experts” toss out their predictions confident in the fact that no one will look back. Well almost no one looks back.

Just for fun, let’s look at so-called experts’ external and internal to this blog and what they thought at the beginning of the season.

ESPN

The Disney Sports network polled 88 “experts” on who would win each of the divisions and how they would do in the playoffs. In the AL West, 54 picked the Mariners (Beginning Monday 32-38 and 8.5 GB) to win the division, 28 picked the Angels (35-35 and 5.5 GB) and six picked the A’s (31-41 and 10.5 GB). Zero “experts” picked the first place Astros or the second place Rangers to take the division honors.

CBS Sports

The former Dan Rather channel polled five of their “experts” on the final standings in the AL West. Four picked the M’s and one picked the Angels to win the division, while four picked the Astros to finish fourth and one picked them to finish fifth and last.

Grantland

The Bill Simmons brainchild polled six “experts”. Four picked the M’s to win the division, while two picked the Angels. Three picked the Angels for a wildcard spot and two picked the A’s for a wildcard. (Ironically, no one picked the M’s for a wildcard.)

In addition, they picked six different teams that would be positive surprises on the season, including the Marlins, the Rays, the O’s, the Indians, the Mets and the Rockies. The Astros were not on that list.

SI

The swimsuit cashiers polled six of their “experts”. Not surprisingly, four chose the M’s, one chose the Angels and one chose the A’s to win the division. Three chose the Angels for the WC, (no, not the water closet), one the M’s and two the A’s.

Bleacher Report

Kenny Dejohn chose the Astros as the 21st team in the majors in his power rankings with a 75-87 record which would be good enough for fourth in the division, behind the M’s (97-65), the Angels (92-70) and the A’s (80-82). For those keeping score, to reach their predicted records the Astros would have to go (34-57), the M’s (65-27), the Angels (57-35) and the A’s (49-41) the rest of the way.

Out of a 100+ experts none of them picked the Astros to make noise and extrapolating a bit – they basically expected the Astros to be fourth or fifth in the division and to have a record around that 75-87 mark.

So, what did our local folks, who get paid nothing but respect, think at the beginning of the season?

Dan P. “I think they will end up over .500 for the season and the reason is simple. They will lower their runs given up per game from 4.46 to around 4.10 and they will raise their runs scored per game from 3.88 to around 4.20. They will lower those runs per game mostly through bullpen improvement.”

Chip. “Simple answer. If the team stays healthy, it’s .500 plus.”

Devin. “Yes to above .500….. I think this team has legitimate ballplayers for the first time in a long time and has guys that don’t like losing.”

Astrocolt45. “They will be under .500. They have improved the bullpen and some hitters. But I have a tough time looking at those SP and seeing them – over the season – keeping us in the game up until the seventh inning.”

Mr. Bill. “Why will the Astros finish below .500 this season? We look to have only two consistently excellent starting pitchers, and these must line up against our opponents’ ace and #2….. At least 70 – 75 % of the time we will have to score 5 to 6 runs in every game not pitched by Keuchel or McHugh to win consistently….. We have a guy closing who we hope can do the job but has not proved it…. Chris Carter is our clean-up hitter. That is likely to produce a strikeout or pop-out 80% of the very time when we need hard contact the most.”

Old pro. “Why will the Astros finish below .500 this season? I think it’s going to be close. I think they fall just short because of three things. A) No fireballers in the bullpen…. B) very sketchy MOR and BOR starting pitchers. C) Batting average. They have one guy who threatens to be a .300 hitter and the rest of the guys project to hit below .260.

Astrocolt45. (later in the comments after Mr. Bill and old pro pick the Astros to fall short) – “We need a contrarian, and looks like Bopert is in retirement. So I will change my answer from below to just above .500 but for the same reasons that you gave OP.”

Of course, this is a story less than half told, but it is highly likely that the commenters on this blog will be closer to the Astros’ final record than the “experts” will be.

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About Dan P

Dan Peschong is a full time engineer and a long time Astros lover from the days of Joe Morgan to the days of Jose Altuve.

74 comments on “Way back in March, what did the “experts” think of Astros?

  1. SargeH
    June 23, 2015

    I stated that I expected a win total of 87-92 win for the season. A quick calculation reveals that they are right on target!

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    • Dan P
      June 23, 2015

      I guess that was in a different post Sarge – I did not have time to search all the pre-season posts.

      Like

      • SargeH
        June 23, 2015

        Dan, it was. I casually looked over the older posts and did not see it in the March predictions but I “Know” I did make that prediction somewhere on here.

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      • Dan P
        June 23, 2015

        I will never doubt the word of anyone with a post name of Sarge. Now if they finish 90-72 and you tell me you predicted that too – then we have to talk.

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  2. astrocolt45
    June 23, 2015

    First a disclaimer. I am not even close to an expert. (Not even a former “pert”) Second, baseball is played on a grass field with some dirt cutouts. Not on paper. Third, I can see them playing slightly below .500 ball the rest of the year as it appears that other teams are heating up and we MIGHT cool off. Can I see them finishing with 41-51? Possible but not likely. They have been a pleasant surprise and lets hope they continue to surprise. Oh, did I say that I am not expert.

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    • astrocolt45
      June 23, 2015

      I love your definition of an expert. The one I heard was “He is a guy that knows 57 ways to have sex, but does not know any women..” (Probably not politically correct these days – but I get a pass because I am old.)

      Liked by 3 people

  3. 1oldpro
    June 23, 2015

    It’s there in black and white for all to see. It’s great to review what we said. The season isn’t halfway over and I’m glad to be reminded of what I said. The Astros have outplayed my predictions but my reasons for my prediction still remain solid because we are bad in batting avg, the MOR and BOR are still questionable and we still don’t have the flamethrowers in the bullpen (Fields was injured when I made that statement).
    Anyway, Qualls is living on the edge and it cost us last night’s game.
    We are 26th in BA(.240,13 points below the league avg) and we are 24th in BA w/RISP at .239.
    The thing is, we are doing what ALL the experts said we would do: Lead the majors in HRs and Ks. Doing the former has gotten us our wins and doing the latter has gotten us our losses. Where will the Astros be at the end of September? That’s more important than us being right in our predictions.
    What is really great is to be accepted by all the contributors on the blog and to be able to share our FANaticism , while eating lots of humble pie.

    Like

  4. Nance (@Bbfanlady)
    June 23, 2015

    An expert is somebody you ask “What time is it?” He says, “Let me see your watch.” You hand him your watch, he looks at it and tells you the time, and then puts it in his pocket and walks off.

    Like

    • Zanuda
      June 23, 2015

      That is a great one. I once told a college professor who stated he was an expert and consultant that “aren’t consultant’s people who couldn’t cut it in the real world and now they charge twice as much for giving you half as much information that you already knew?” Needless to say I didn’t start off well in that class.
      Funny, now I’m trying to pawn myself off as an expert in certain fields. I’ll let you know how that works out.
      The problem with the Astros now is that we’ve all gotten so excited about their initial success so far that anything less that a playoff spot is considered a disappointment. I’m still optimistic but we’ll need some good things to happen to get us there.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Dan P
    June 23, 2015

    A couple thoughts:
    – astrocolt45 – it is a point of pride that we are not the highly paid and honored experts because they apparently know little
    -old pro – we don’t know where this will end up – can the Astros continue to score the 5th most runs in the AL per game while struggling so mightily with BA / OBP and K’s? Will the bullpen continue to carry them when they are being asked to throw more and more innings per game?
    – Nance – that is a brilliant definition of an expert
    – I hope it does not happen but the experts could have the last laugh if the Astros fold.

    Like

    • Dan P
      June 23, 2015

      Of course Nance, he is probably picking your pocket or stealing your purse while you are letting him pocket your watch.

      Like

      • Nance (@Bbfanlady)
        June 23, 2015

        I left out the part where the “expert” sends you an invoice for services rendered, lol.

        Like

  6. Mr. Bill
    June 23, 2015

    I said exactly what your quote stated, and I hoped against hope that I was wrong as I said it, but it was what was staring me in the face at the time. I am not buying playoff tickets yet, of course, but I am pleasantly surprised. Here are the biggest pleasant surprises [to me, at least] – i.e. the things I believe have allowed the team to exceed anybody’s expectations in the season’s first half:

    1. So far the opposing teams in the AL West have not been anywhere near as good as they looked on paper on opening day – especially the Mariners and Angels;
    2. We have gotten a little less quality pitching from McHugh [overall] but that has been offset by some timely quality pitching from some folks who were not even on the team’s radar at the time – i.e. McCullers [who started at AAA], Velasquez [who started on the DL, and then at AAA]; and Fields [who started hurt]. And, of course, who predicted that Will Harris would descend from Asgard wielding Thor’s hammer? 3. We had far more production out of Marisnick or Lowrie than predictable based upon historical models early on, and Valbuena started strong as well. Now, of course, Lowrie is hurt and Marisnick and Valbuena have somewhat turned back into pumpkins.
    4. We brought up Tucker and Correa; and that seems to have finally lit a fire under Springer. Hmmn. if we bring up Singleton or Kemp, will that light a fire under Carter?

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  7. Dan P
    June 23, 2015

    Zanuda – that was certainly blind heroics on your part and you lived through that professor, expert, consutlant.
    Mr. Bill – you certainly could have been right based on what you knew at the time and could still be right by the end of the season. I love Will (Thor) Harris. He certainly seems like a super-hero or an alien….

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  8. drbill14
    June 23, 2015

    I certainly did not expect the team to win the division or even sniff the post season but I did think 81+ wins was very doable with the cast we started the season with. Now that almost seems certain and winning the division very possible. But the reasons I thought we would be OK have only partially played out. I expected Keuchel and McHugh to be the real thing. Check on Keuchel, McHugh not so much but still possible. I expected Carter to be less awful to start the year. I expected Springer to get off to a good start. Way off on those. I did expect the bullpen to be much improved. Check on that. I expected Altuve to maybe even be better than 2014. Way off on that and if things don’t change between his ears the Jose we have now may be what we get the rest of the year. More on that later.

    So what is different now? The kids and their contributions are much more than I expected. I was hoping Correa would get here in September but had my concerns that he would be Springered and that he would not even get a cup of coffee in 2015. Thank you Jed Lowrie for getting hurt and Jonathan Villar for being awful! Springer is becoming the player we all hoped for. I expect Tucker will figure out this level, especially after Lowrie comes back and Tucker can settle into the 6 or 7 spot in the lineup. McCullers has given us a shot in the arm and to a lesser extent Velasquez with their power offerings which are so different from the rest of the staff.

    I’m afraid that the Astros team success has triggered some unintended negative consequences. When the Astros were expected to be doormats individuals like Altuve and Marisnick would be pitched to a bit more aggressively and see a fair number of strikes. When the team started to win and folks figured out it wasn’t a fluke then Altuve and Marisnick started seeing fewer strikes. Jake went south quickly and Jose has gone south steadily. While Jose CAN hit bad pitches there are NO hitters who carry high averages on balls out of the strike zone. There is a video compilation of his 225 hits last year on MLB.COM and while he did indeed get some hits on stinker pitches I think I can say with some certainty that well over 200 of his hits were on balls in the strike zone. I’m not sure Marisnick can learn plate discipline but there is no reason for Jose to keep getting himself out. IF he gets more selective his BA and OBP could approach the Jose we saw last year but if not he might not see 300 again unless the team regresses.

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  9. daveb
    June 23, 2015

    I think I said 78 wins, if I recollect, the main reason being the rotation would be a question mark. So far, I’ve underestimated this club. Two things that I did not account for: While I thought the pen would be better, I had no idea it would be almost bulletproof early. And second, we really have gotten some clutch hitting from various guys at different times that has won some ballgames. How do we explain what Marisnick did in April for instance?

    I hope all the experts (literally all of them) continue to be as wrong as me. I’m still leery though. I think this offense can get tweaked and improve over the second half of the season. But we do need help for the rotation. That’s pretty clear. And we can’t expect the pen to be as good. Qualls is the first crack, and one some of us anticipated. But can all the other guys be expected to be as good? I think it would be unfair to expect as much out of Harris for instance.

    I think it will be an interesting summer. I expect Luhnow to be active going forward, if not with his eye on a playoff berth in 2015, but rather to position this club for a solid 2016 effort. We might not have to wait until 2017.

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  10. Devin_
    June 23, 2015

    Dan, many of us are available to offer our consulting services to Mr. Luhnow if he desires it.

    Let’s talk about the Santana HR and the Springer fly-out last night. Santana got a ball just above the knees in the middle of the plate and crushed it to right-center. Springer, after being up 3-0, took two undesirable pitches for strikes, fouled off one or two more, and then hit a high, outside (maybe ball 4?) Pitch to the 350 foot sign in the right field corner where the RF caught it reaching up. I’m not certain it gets over the wall in Anaheim, but just about any other park it’s ten rows up. Bad luck.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Dan P
    June 23, 2015

    dr. bill – I was thinking about how Altuve and the strike zone last night. One of the ABs he did a great job of laying off high pitches (which would have been high strikes to everybody else in the line-up) and then in the same AB he chases balls out of the strike zone and out of his reach low and outside. He has to make them pitch to him and until he does they will continue to let him get himself out. Competely agree with you.

    daveb – It is interesting how we all enter a season with a thought in our head about what will happen (who will start off hot, who will be steady, etc) and then reality occurs. Certain people carry the day that were not expected and now the question is how far can this team go – can they overcome their own short comings.

    Devin – man 350 to the RF corner – that is a long poke. When he hit it I thought it was gone if it stayed fair but I had no idea it was that deep down the line there. Josh Hamilton probably did not like that…..

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    • daveb
      June 23, 2015

      Altuve must have a bit of a stubborn streak in him. I’m sure that a few guys have tried to convince him that being more selective will result in good things only. He’s streaky stubborn! When he’s going good, he will take a walk every now and then. That’s the guy we need back. We know he can produce those numbers. But if he continues to hang around in the .330 to .350 OBP range going forward, Luhnow might look to put a Kemp type guy at second base some day if he can get a real good return on his Altuve investment..

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  12. Dan P
    June 23, 2015

    MLB has an article on the 5 pitchers who matter most to their AL teams. No surprise about which Astro made the list.
    http://m.mlb.com/news/article/132294394/the-5-al-pitchers-who-matter-most

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  13. astrocolt45
    June 23, 2015

    What he said: “Cole Hamels would block a trade to Houston.”

    What he meant: “Show me the money.”

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  14. Robert
    June 23, 2015

    Daveb I agree with your assessment of Altuve. There’s something about being 5’6″ and playing in the MLB that causes him to be stubborn. It’s probably all the people that told him that he was too small to make it that fuel his stubbornness. Hopefully he is going to put his batting struggles behind him and start hitting the ball like he did in the 8th inning last night. It’s too bad it was a grd or Correa would have scored. Also what’s the deal with Qualls? He just seems to not be able to get anyone out these days.

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  15. astrocolt45
    June 23, 2015

    You know how two people see a hit and run accident. One saw a dark blue SUV and the other saw a white pick-up? I am not sure what you are seeing in Altuve. He has 28 strike outs (tied with Tucker) for fewest of the starters. Carter has 96. He leads the team in hitting. He is 2nd in OBP. He is low in Slugging unless you give him credit for SBs which moves him up to 3rd on the team. He is 4th in RBIs while having no one in front of him for about 1/4-1/5 of his ABs. He is tied for 1st in SF. Compare him in 2015 to Cano (.244) or V Martinez (.227). Is he doing what he did in 2014? NO. But is he a solid player on an MLB team. YES. If you can tolerate a sloppy Conger and a couple of our whiff machines, then I can tolerate how sorry Altuve is right now.

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    • 1oldpro
      June 23, 2015

      Boom! You nailed it. He’s struggling, but him struggling is like a 70 to 80 point higher struggle than the guys who are barely covering Carlos Esperanza Mendoza don Diego de Las Frias Pinata Whiffenpoof.

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    • daveb
      June 23, 2015

      So can I astrocolt45. Just saying though, hypothetically, if the guys down in the dungeon think there might be a guy in the system that is a prototypical leadoff man, one who will stay close to an OBP in the high threes and an OPS in the high sevens, who can steal a base and also plays a quality second base, then for the right deal, a GM might consider moving an Altuve. I for one, still certainly believe that we will see more of the 2014 Altuve in 2015. But in this day and age, rarely do we see a guy wear the same uniform throughout a career. And I don’t think Luhnow is the sentimental type.

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      • astrocolt45
        June 23, 2015

        DaveB: I agree with your hypothesis. But many on these pages argued the last couple years that we can add by subtracting. That was my only point. There are players on this team that can be replaced more easily. I think (as an example) it might even be an improvement to bring up Kemp and make Altuve the DH. It might (as an example) be an improvement to bring back Villar as a DH. But right now, we are needing an improvement at 1st, Catcher, SP, and probably/maybe 3B. If you bring up Kemp and deal Altuve to fill in one of the above holes, that does the trick provided Kemp (or anyone else) can provide at the MLB level what Altuve is providing. I am in favor of trading Keuchel, if we can get LA to give us Kershaw & Greinke plus cover their salary for next three years.

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Dan P
    June 23, 2015

    daveb / Robert – the Altuve of 2013 and of 2015 (so far) is replaceable. The Altuve of 2014 was practically untouchable. Last season he started out OK, but not great and after April he was not far from where he is right now – .279 BA / .325 OBP / .695 OPS. Then he made a very steady rise and by this date last season he was up at .336 / .378 / .821 and he basically maintained that for the rest of the season. It is a lot tougher now with 260 ABs under his belt than it was last season with 100 ABs at the end of April to make a big improvement, but if anyone can – Altuve can (if he opens those ears and that mind).

    astrocolt45 – I say the heck with Cole Hamels. I would rather talk about Cole Hammer the 15 year old Houstonian who qualified for and played in the US Open and if I’m not mistaken was ahead of Tiger and other pros after the first round. That Cole likes Houston and wants to be here…..

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  17. 1oldpro
    June 23, 2015

    From the first time Hamels’s name was mentioned in conjunction with the Astros, that list of teams was the most critical factor in where he ended up. Going to the Rangers could be the best thing, long term for the Astros. There are a lot of pitchers out there who are not going to cost Houston $100million and three top prospects.
    I’m still looking at the Astros team from 2016 on. If we’re going to shoot for the moon in 2015, let’s shoot for it with our guys. We’ve already brought four of them up. Let’s see more.

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    • Mr. Bill
      June 23, 2015

      I actually sort of enjoy thinking about which prospects the Rangers are being asked to give up for Hamels!

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    • daveb
      June 23, 2015

      My focus is also on 2016 and beyond. All moves this year should be made with that in mind.

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    • Devin_
      June 23, 2015

      I also would be happy to see the Rangers deplete their farm system!

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    • Steven
      June 23, 2015

      Yes, our division rival getting a Cy Young candidate (he will win with a better offense) is always whats best for us.

      Look, I buy the arguments about not giving up some of our young guys. I like a lot of them too. I like Hamels more, but I understand the other side. Seeing him in Texas is going to be bad for this franchise in 2016 and 2017. Hamels and Darvish will be the best 1-2 punch in the league. Hamels this year takes a division competitor and solidifies the top of their rotation.

      If he isn’t coming to Houston, there is no silver lining to him ending up in Texas. I don’t care about Texas farm system, prospects are prospects. We blew up our team, trading stars (yes fading stars, but stars) for other teams prospects, and who of those prospects are making an impact? Kuechel, Springer, Correa, Altuve, all Houston products, as is Castro, Tucker, etc. Our starting 3B did not come from a 2009 trade of an aging star, nor did anyone in our rotation – again all drafted and developed or picked up off a scrap heap.

      I would need to hear the final deal before I would say I am on board. I don’t want to lose some of these guys either. Kemp is intriguing. Phillips seems like a good hitter. Velasquez and McCullers are struggling with command but seem to have the stuff to have bright futures. Hamels isn’t some old guy that is going to give us a 20 game stretch run. This is a 31 year old in his prime, pitching the lights out of the place, and is signed for at least this year and the next 2 (probably 3). Hamels could very well win a Cy Young this year – though that would be hard to do if he splits leagues. He and Keuchel would be the best 1-2 punch in the division. It would be hard to say no.

      No doubt Philly is asking for their pick of the farm. No doubt JL has countered. You are not getting him for free, but I am telling you, hitting wins games, pitching wins divisions. You will be glad you had him (though the betting man is right in saying it probably isn’t happening), but I am not celebrating him ending up on our division rivals that are coming up our tailpipes.

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      • 1oldpro
        June 23, 2015

        We’re definitely on opposite sides of the fence here, but the Rangers have been free spending for several years and they chased our tails last season and this season with that overblown payroll. So saddling them with another $100 million will most certainly put them over the top. Or it could get them another old expensive player.

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  18. Kevin
    June 23, 2015

    Ditto OP!!!

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    • Kevin
      June 23, 2015

      Also would give me another reason to ” spit” when ever Dallas is mentioned!

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      • Steven
        June 23, 2015

        Well, unless that Dallas ends in Keuchel!

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  19. daveb
    June 23, 2015

    Just want to go on record here. I am not in favor of trading Altuve. He’s about the best guy in the world at his position. And if our GM should ever pull such a move, please do not hold it against me. Blame him as I will! But let’s face it, one of these days, there will be a trade that will piss most of us off. We’ve got too much talent floating around for it not to happen.

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    • Kevin
      June 23, 2015

      Dave I’m with you ,but I have told my wife for a year, I could see them trading Altuve some day.

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    • Mr. Bill
      June 23, 2015

      As I see it, despite all our supposed HR power, the reality is that we don’t really do well consistently against anybody’s starting pitchers – especially lefties. For Heaven’s sake, the guys who lead us in RBIs and Home Runs are hitting .228 and .201 respectively. That weak level of production just won’t blow people out no matter who we face! If we are going to win, be it against Hamels or against anyone else Texas throws at us – it will be for one reason, and one reason alone – because our pitchers and defense held them to less than 3 runs as long as the opposing team’s starter was in. I know some on this blog see Hamels as a Greek god of some kind, but the reality is that his ERA is not a stunning 0.75 or 1.50, but is just a nice, healthy 2.96. And he’s averaging less than 7 IP per start. He’s good, sure – but he’s not going to win a Cy Young in 2015 with a 2.96 ERA.

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  20. Tim
    June 23, 2015

    I am going to get off topic, but I just want to say how much I thoroughly enjoy this blog and all the commenters on here. I check this blog daily, if possible, and although I may disagree with some of the comments at least everyone on here has an educated reason for their thoughts and ideas. I can’t even begin to tell you how mind numbing it is to read and respond to some of the commenters on the Chron website. It is so refreshing to come here and read the comments and even debate with some of you because, from my perspective, Chipalatta bloggers are the most informed and educated baseball/Astros fans I have come across. Kudos to all of you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • astrocolt45
      June 23, 2015

      Tim, I agree. I think most of us on here know we are posting an opinion. And we know that an opinion supported by facts and stats is still — just an opinion.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Dan P
    June 23, 2015

    Got to agree with Steven up above – I don’t want Hamels going to the Rangers period – they are tough enough with Darvish down.

    daveb and others – nobody wants to see Altuve go, but there are very few Biggio Bagwell stories and there can be arguments that they both signed on one time too many for the health of the team.

    Tim – Chip runs a good ship over here. I used to write once in a while on the fan football blog on chron.com and too often you got into really low level stupid arguments. The commenters here (you folks) are great. You bring high level and respectful arguments and really move the discussions forward. This is my sports touchstone whether it is a post I wrote or Chip or Brian wrote. Love to read the posts and love to read the discussions.

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    • Steven
      June 23, 2015

      Great comment. I’ll add that in the olden days we had a few of the occasional chron type classless posters pop in when Chip was stuck in chronland, but since the move it seems only the better half followed. I’ve enjoyed the arguments (and I am definitely not liking some of OP’s humble pie after my 75-80 win prediction and Grossman in LF comments).

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      • 1oldpro
        June 23, 2015

        Well, you and I went round and round about Grossman/Marisnick. Grossman has turned out like I thought but Marisnick has burned me for two months. His throws to home plate have sucked and he has made some not so good jumps in center field lately that have been disappointing.
        Honestly, I would trade the game-ending bows in centerfield and the post-homer baptisms in the dugout for some damn hits from him.

        Like

  22. Steven
    June 23, 2015

    BTW – It looks like the Phillies starting point is Alfaro and Mazara. If I were Texas, and that is what Philly wants, maybe along with a lower level or 2 add ins, I jump on it.

    I would think the Astros could offer better, but Alfaro does play a premium position and looks like he will provide at least some offense at it (of course so did Conger in the minors.)

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  23. Kevin
    June 23, 2015

    From what I’m reading that arrogant )(&*(& named Hamels, will not wave his no trade and wants nothing to with the Astros . so sort of a mute point.

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    • Robert
      June 23, 2015

      I’ve said this before but I don’t think we should mortgage the farm for Hammels. He’s a great TOR guy but not worth a high asking price. Even if he were to wave his no trade clause. I was listening to MLB network earlier and they said that he wasn’t interested in the Astros so that could be a blessing in disguise. Any dialog on the lack of efficiency of Chad Qualls?

      Like

    • Devin_
      June 23, 2015

      Are you just reading headlines or entire articles? I read that Hamels would block a trade to HOU, but the meat said they were one of the 20 teams on the list he turned in back in Dec…and nothing new was revealed.

      Hamels wants to win and play where his wife will be happy. If he doesn’t want to come here, fine…Amaro likely wouldn’t accept what we consider fair anyway.

      Like

  24. Chip Bailey
    June 23, 2015

    Springer gets the start tonight in center. He’s had nine previous starts there since he came up with the Astros. Rasmus in left and Santana in right.

    Like

  25. Kevin
    June 23, 2015

    Tucker in someones dog house?

    Like

    • astrocolt45
      June 23, 2015

      Throwing a lefty at us so Rasmus and Valbue……………… never mind.

      Like

  26. rj
    June 23, 2015

    my prediction was 87 wins and in a recent blog by chip he asked if we wanted to revise our predictions. i upped it to 88. i feel pretty good about it.
    im not a hamels guy – what we would have to give up and the salary involved just doesn’t compute for me. and say what you will about being in his prime – players in their 30’s are more prone to injury and on this team with this budget, a 20 million a year player on the DL would be a killer. and as they say in the stock market, past performance does not guarantee future returns.

    Like

  27. Becky
    June 23, 2015

    I never made a prediction……..there were (still are0 too many holes in this lineup.
    You guys need to pull another name outta the hat, because Cole Hamels ain’t coming here. I hope the bad Wilson shows up tonight…….the last time we played them he went on the DL after they went home. I feel for McHugh…..uncle Albert is on a homerun jag.

    Like

    • astrocolt45
      June 23, 2015

      Becky, you should be bold. Predict that you are not sure of the finish but the Astros should be around 41 wins after the first 72 games. And you can also predict that Villar will appear in at least 38 too many games.

      Like

      • Becky
        June 23, 2015

        You gotta ask this gm…how in the hell Do you keep putting that idiot in games when he clearly has a mental problem. Man just look at the was Correa is playing short stop and think…we put up with.villerror when this guy was ready??!! This kid can run circles around any short stop in mlb!! He’s a joy to watch!!

        Like

  28. daveb
    June 23, 2015

    Anyone notice 2013, 21st round pick Jon Kemmer in CC?

    .315/.395/.521/.916

    Those are pretty good numbers for a guy that started in QC last year and actually got 20 starts at first base there before getting called up to Lancaster. Conrad Gregor already had the first base job in Lancaster and now CC, so Kemmer is playing right and making a much more successful transition from Lancaster to date. A dark horse candidate for first base down the road?

    Like

    • Becky
      June 23, 2015

      A. J. Reed is the 1st. Baseman of the future. Unless he gets traded.

      Like

  29. daveb
    June 23, 2015

    Reed has to keep hitting once he leaves Lancaster. Kemmer is my new long shot to replace Joe.

    Like

  30. Mr. Bill
    June 23, 2015

    Carlos is having a Correa night.

    Like

  31. Devin_
    June 23, 2015

    OK, Valbuena is now tied for second in the AL in HR. Is it possible he makes the All Star team despite being under the Mendoza line? I think not, as Donaldson and Machado have better claims, McClendon will take Seager if he can, and Moustakas probably gets the stuff, I mean start.

    Like

  32. 1oldpro
    June 23, 2015

    Tonight, in the Midwest League All-Star Game the East shut out the West 4-0 on three hits. Two of those hits came off the bat of a catcher named Nottingham, who was 2 for 2 before being replaced by QC’s only other All-Star, catcher Jamie Ritchey.

    Like

    • Simon Davey
      June 24, 2015

      Is that the Mid West East shutting out the Mid West West? Or the Mid East shutting out the Mid West? I’m not from round there (I’m from the North. Of England).

      🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • 1oldpro
        June 24, 2015

        Sorry, Simon, I’m not very GPS savvy. I can tell you that Correa’s home run was well north of south.

        Like

  33. rj
    June 23, 2015

    btw dan, very entertaining post. interesting to see what they and we said early on. interesting to see chipalatta land beat the paid experts.

    Like

  34. Becky
    June 24, 2015

    Wow!!! 13-3 a blowout in Anaheim!! McHugh certainty wasn’t tipping his pitches tonight! Ya gotta give Brent Strom a big atta boy..he has done an awesome job with this pitching staff. I think Mr. Bill said it right…Correa was having himself a Correa night!! It feels good to get a big win like this.

    Like

  35. Roger
    June 24, 2015

    Best part of the win is the improving McHugh. This is critical to future success, but I suspect it will be a bit bumpy. Next, I wish Valbuenna would stop hitting so many HR’s and raise his BA, if that is possible. I think it is, but it is not a quick fix.

    Like

    • Devin_
      June 24, 2015

      I’m with you 100%. He did slap one to left to beat a shift early in the game, but all swings afterwards showed that uppercut and pull tendency. Of course, I’m not complaining about the results last night…

      Like

  36. Dan P
    June 24, 2015

    Went to bed early, but did see McHugh get out of the early jam with a double play ball and Correa hit the 3 run dinger to put them ahead 4-0. Felt pretty good about it.
    I agree that the most important take away was a good start by McHugh. He is critical to any chance they have of holding on and making the playoffs.
    Big win with the Rangers losing and in keeping the Angels from narrowing the gap. Those head to head wins are huge.

    Like

  37. astrocolt45
    June 24, 2015

    I would like to officially say that I know nothing about baseball. At least concerning the 2015 Astros. I smarted off yesterday about a lefty pitching and Hinch making a mistake in starting Rasmus and Valbuena. Well, 5 hits in 9 ABs later (with 2 HRs), I must admit that those “lefty lefty” match ups are the way to go.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mr. Bill
      June 24, 2015

      Except for Preston Tucker – the one guy on the team with a good history of hitting lefties!

      Like

  38. Tim
    June 24, 2015

    Today is an important game, in my opinion. The Astros have lost 3 straight road series and need to get back confidence that they can win on the road, especially against divisional opponents.

    Like

    • Mr. Bill
      June 24, 2015

      Agreed. If we are going to win the division in 2015 – and that is a huge ‘if’ – we have to win about two-out-of-three of these head-to-head three-game series with our division opponents. And of course, our division opponents need to beat each other up, closely splitting their head-to-head match-ups with each other. If we allow any team in our division – even the A’s – to take series’ from us, we are asking for trouble.

      I note that right now we are:
      9-4 vs. the Mariners
      6-3 vs. the A’s
      5-4 vs the Angels
      2-4 vs. the Rangers

      We really need to pull further ahead of the Angels in the season series – and we will ultimately HAVE to make up that deficit vs. the Rangers.

      Like

  39. videoidget1
    June 24, 2015

    The “contrarian” is still alive and well. The problem is that all his crispy posts have been banned by the Minister of Propaganda himself.

    Sorry guys, I’d be glad to predict precisely when the steep plummet will begin, but my (free-speech protected?) opinions have been censured!

    Like

  40. videoidget1
    June 24, 2015

    I guess I can still post on days that Dan authors this BLOG….

    Like

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This entry was posted on June 23, 2015 by in Astros.
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