The Astros are a better team than they were in April and most of May. Since starting 18-28 they have been a good 56-36. Last year they were a ho-hum 46-46 after a 29-17 start to the season.
Their offense is slightly ahead of last season at 4.60 runs / game vs 4.50 r/g last season. It is pretty obvious that their recent offense is much better than they have seen in a while. With the addition of Yulieski Gurriel and the red hot Alex Bregman, and the offensive uptick that a hot Evan Gattis has brought since getting more catching starts, this lineup is more than Springer, Altuve and Correa. The team has averaged almost 6 runs a game over their last 25 games, which is a big step up from earlier in the season.
The pitching has taken a step back with injuries and inconsistency hobbling the starting pitching rotation. The staff is giving up 4.29 r/g as opposed to 3.81 r/g in 2015. With very good performances by the bullpen overall, the biggest concern down the stretch will be the starting rotation without Lance McCullers Jr. and possibly without Dallas Keuchel.
The questions for you today are:
- Can a pitching rotation featuring Doug Fister, Mike Fiers, Collin McHugh, Joe Musgrove and …. Brad Peacock(?) lead this team to the playoffs?
- Or can this team score enough runs to overcome that pitching rotation?
- Do they need to move Chris Devenski out of his dominating role as a 2 or 3 inning reliever and make him one of the starters?
- Do they need to get DK and/or LMJ back to make it to the playoffs?