Tuesday night’s win by the Astros marked the 81st game and the halfway point in the Astros season.
It never works to double numbers at this point – but what the heck – we will do it anyways and discuss some things that could occur.
The Bottom Line. The Astros have 53 wins, which extrapolates to 106 wins and beats their best season ever by four wins.
The Gap. In all of the 2017 regular season, the Astros outscored their opponents by 196 runs. Already in 2018 they have outscored the opponents by 173 runs. Their Pythagorean record based on that gap says they should have won 59 games in the first half on a pace for an insane 118 wins.
Pitching improvement. The Astros are on a pace for allowing 492 runs on the season. Last season they gave up 700 runs!
RBIs Are Us. Last season the Astros were led by Marwin Gonzalez with 90 RBIs for the season. This season, 3 hitters are on pace for more than 90 – Evan Gattis (102), Carlos Correa (98) and Alex Bregman (94) with George Springer (84) and Jose Altuve (82) on pace for more than 80 RBIs.
Innings Eaters. Last season only 3 pitchers in the AL had more than 200 IP (Chris Sale, Corey Kluber and Chris Archer). This season two Astros are on pace for 200+ – Justin Verlander (217 IP) and Gerrit Cole (210). Three other Astros are on pace for 188 IP or more – Dallas Keuchel (194), Charlie Morton (190) and Lance McCullers (188). It would seem someone is going to get some rest in the second half.
Winners. Probably the best season for Astros’ starting pitchers and wins was 1999, when Mike Hampton went 22-4, the late Jose Lima went 21-10 and Shane Reynolds clocked in at 16-14. After that it dropped back to Scott Elarton and his part starting, part relieving 9-5 record. This season, the Astros are on pace to have Charlie Morton (20-2), Gerrit Cole (18-2), Justin Verlander (18-6) and Lance McCullers (16-6). Dallas Keuchel is on a pace for 8-16, but he is the exception to an exceptional winning rotation.
Dingers all around. In 2017, the Astros had an unbelievable 11 players finish with double figures in home runs. This year they have 10 players on a pace for 10 or more home runs (Gonzalez, Gattis, Correa, Bregman, Springer, Altuve, Brian McCann, Jake Marisnick, Josh Reddick, and Max Stassi) and the eleventh could well be Yuli Gurriel, who has four so far, but missed time in the first half.
- In 2017, the Astros had 11 pitchers started games. Halfway through 2018, only five pitchers have started games.
- In 2017, the Astros had 45 saves on the season, led by Ken Giles at 34. They are currently on a pace for only 36 saves in 2018 (though on a pace for more wins) and Giles is on a pace for 22 off those, though that would be optimistic at this point.
- Non-speedster Yuli Gurriel has the same amount of SBs (2) as Jake Marisnick, Tony Kemp, Derek Fisher, Carlos Correa, Josh Reddick, and Marwin Gonzalez.
- Yuli led the team in doubles in 2017. Bregman leads in 2018.
- Bregman led in triples in 2017. Marwin leads in 2018.
- Marwin led in RBIs in 2017. Gattis leads in 2018.
For your input…
- Where do you think the Astros are headed in the second half of the season?
- Who will end up their leader in:
- Innings pitched
- Runs scored
- Finish this sentence “It will not surprise me if……”
- Finish this sentence “It will surprise me if ……”