Astros’ offense a repeat of 2017?


After many struggles and injuries along the way, the Astros offense is becoming one of the best in baseball, reminding folks of their championship team. In 2017, they led all of baseball in almost everything. They were first in the majors with 5.53 runs/game, .282 BA, .346 OBP, .478 SLG and .823 OPS. They were first with 1581 hits, 346 doubles and a “shameful” second in HRs with 238, while striking out 1087 times, the least in the majors.

In 2019, they have been working their way to the top, while having to overcome the following:

  • Thirty-five games missed by Jose Altuve with a knee injury, who was also hitting a very un-Altuve .243 BA when he went down
  • Twenty-seven games missed by George Springer with a hamstring pull when he was in the midst of an MVP start to the season
  • Fifty games missed by Carlos Correa with a rib injury, while he was in the midst of an All-Star worthy season
  • Forty-seven games missed by Aledmys Diaz who was playing very well in his super-sub role when he went down with a hamstring pull
  • Having to play Tyler White for 71 games where he put up a paltry 3 HRs and 21 RBIs
  • Having to play Max Stassi 31 games where he only accounted for 1 HR and 3 RBIs
  • And of course the 16 games Jack Mayfield (.143 BA / .472 OPS) and the 9 games Garrett Stubbs (.160 BA / .422 OPS) played in did not help the overall offensive stats.

But now all the wounded are back and importantly, Yordan Alvarez (17 HRs and 51 RBIs in 46 games with a .355 BA / 1.164 OPS) has come up and been a revelation. When you are being mentioned in the same breath as super rookies like Albert Pujols (.329 BA/ 1.014 OPS – 37 HR and 130 RBIs in 161 games) and Ted Williams (.327 BA / 1.045 OPS – 31 HRs and 145 RBIs in 149 games) that is some achievement.

The Astros are not quite the juggernaut (yet) over the whole season as they were in 2017, but consider the following:

  • They are 1st in the majors with .275 BA/ .350 OBP/ .839 OPS
  • They are 2nd in the majors in slugging with .489 SLG and third in HRs (198) and 4th (but rising) 5.53 runs/game
  • In the 27 games since they were shutout by the Rangers on July 11th, they have averaged 7.22 runs per game
  • In that time they have not scored less than 2 runs in any game
  • The AL average in hitting is .254 BA / .323 OBP / .762 OPS
  • The Astros have 9 players hitting over that .254 BA mark and 6 hitting over .290 BA
  • They have 8 players getting on base above that .323 OBP mark and 6 over .360 OBP
  • They have 10 players over the .762 OPS mark with 6 over .870 OPS
  • The Astros could easily have 11 players with 10 or more HRs and 7 with 20 or more HRs by the end of the season
  • They could also have 7 players with 70 or more RBIs by the end of the season

The bottom line is that with Alvarez, Altuve, Springer, Michael Brantley, Alex Bregman, Yuli Gurriel and Correa the Astros have a core of 7 players that every team would envy. Add to this solid support from Josh Reddick and Jake Marisnick with occasional knocks by Robinson Chirinos and Martin Maldonado and this is a team that seems to be flipping the lineup and bringing up the tough hitters every inning.

Will this offense do what the 2017 version did and lead the Astros to another World Series championship? There is a lot of road to cover before that happens, but they seem to have built an offense where anything is possible.

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96 comments on “Astros’ offense a repeat of 2017?

  1. I think this offense is as good as 2017. That year, some were hitting way over their norms. Let’s hope Alvarez makes up for any normal fall off or someone gets insanely hot come this Fall. And to Becky’s post about the Orioles, they are now playing the Yankees and giving bushels of runs today.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The offensive positions that have significantly less production in 2019 so far than in 2017 are:

    1. 2B [and a healthy Jose is working on that];
    2. SS [and a healthy Carlos is working on that];
    3. RF [Josh has slacked off quite a bit from 2017’s .314/.363/.847];
    4. Supersub [Diaz has a way to go to match Marwin’s .303/.377/.907]; and
    5. C.

    The two positions at which we are way up are LF [Brantley – duh!] and at DH [since Alvarez’ arrival].

    Bregman, Springer, and Yuli are all about where they were in 2017.

    None of this really matters to me, though, if they don’t hit as well or better in the 2019 playoffs as they did in the 2017 playoffs.

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  3. The 2017 team didn’t have Greinke, or Cole in the rotation. They didn’t have “Uncle Mike” as a pure professional bat in left field. They didn’t have a DH named Yordan Alveraz. Those three guys are why they are going to outlast the Yankees, AND the Dodgers. That’s exactly why this team is so much better than the 2017 team……AND there will NEVER be a game 5 again in the World Series!

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  4. I have absolutely no concern about our offensive production. My issue since the beginning of the season has been our pen, and remains such. That might well get sorted out too. Luhnow is saying today that he has not ruled out Whitney. That thought does not really thrill me too much, but I’d sure like to see Josh James throwing 101 again with movement. Is Osuna coasting? He’s only thrown 10.1 innings since the break and only struck out 10 of the 46 batters he’s faced. I want more K’s from the closer. I hesitate to mention the 1.355 WHIP and the 6.97 ERA, due to small sample, but these are stats mostly of his own doing. He gets a clean slate to work with most of the time. Unless we put Cole in the pen for the post season, we don’t have a real K guy to bring in when a K is essential. As good as the bats are, we’re not going to win it all by outscoring everyone, at least I don’t think so.

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  5. Rain out tonight, double header tomorrow.
    1st game 3:40 Greinke
    2nd game Cole. Saturday’s starter against the A’s TBA
    2020 schedule is out…..THEY HAVE A *HARD* FIRST MONTH!

    Liked by 1 person

      • You know Sarge, Becky, I could care less about the 2020 schedule at this point. My first goal going forward is to see us end up with the best record in MLB. As well as we have learned to play at home, that’s pretty important. And If we happened to reach the WS, that would mean 4 games with a DH.

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      • You’re 100% right daveb!! It gives me goosebumps just thinking about a 2017 repeat with the Dodgers!! This is one AWESOME team, and I still have to pinch myself that here we are where we are!! There are several scenarios going on right now with these guys.
        There are 2 pitchers who are looking like the AL Cy Young contenders.
        Verlander and Garrett Cole!
        We have the AL rookie of the year as our DH.
        The best news is every-single position player will be back for 2020!
        That’s the. Best. News. Ever!!!

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    • Since we don’t really have a fall back catcher ready to make the big club, I would assume Chirinos will get another year. Who knows BOTH of them might get another 1 year contract!
      By the way ESPN will carry Friday’s game with the A’s. Check the time but I think it’s an 8:10 EST start time!

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  6. With the way Yuli and Yordan have been sending bombs out of the park recently, is it fair to say we are presenting opposing teams with a Cuban Missile Crisis?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. They are first in BA at .275, but they are 13th in BA with RISP and if they don’t fix that it will cost them dearly. It cost them that game Sunday.

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      • They were 2 for 10 with RISP and lost by 1 run. You can balme it on the pitchers but all game long they struck out with runners on base against the worst pitching staff in baseball.
        And they had one of the hottest hitters in baseball sitting on the bench and chose to not play him, while the O’s made every move they could make to try and win that game. The Astros settled all day for mediocre.

        Liked by 1 person

      • League average for scoring is 4.9 runs per game. If you score 2 more runs than average, but you give up 3 more runs than average – I’m blaming the pitching. If you have to score 9 runs to win a game (if Osuna was not going to give up more runs) then you have a game where your pitching let you down more than the hitting.

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      • Dan and OP,
        I agree with you both.
        Question though, is it offense, pitching, or poor management? Or a combination?
        Or, are we so spoiled we expect perfection every day?

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      • sandy for my money, its the latter. on pace to win what? 106 games. very well may have the best record in baseball at the end of the year, won 9 of last 10? or something like that. sometimes things dont go your way. sometimes a leser team on that one day beats your greater team. it happens. it happens every season. more than once. i say enjoy this great season the astros are producing!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. There is never just one thing that causes a loss (in my opinion). In the first inning, was it the shift having Reddick holding hands with Springer in CF with a lefty at the plate? Was it Verlander not having his best stuff? Was it Springer missing a fly ball he normally catches? Was it playing Correa behind second base so he can’t get a pop fly in the 8th? Was it the wrong time to retaliate? Did we need Pressly and not Osuna? In the end, the game was loss because the weaker team finally got the last break and the better team failed to take advantage of its breaks.

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    • I can live with the physical errors. I can live with the shifts that don’t work out. I can live with Verlander having a bad day. And I can live with Osuna having a bad day, although it is a bit of a trend with him right now. The thing I can not live with is putting the tying run on base in the 9th. That guy is a .220 hitter. Getting in a tit for tat with the worst team in the game cost us the game. And now we’re down a game to both the Yanks and Dodgers. Hell, a sweep would have discouraged the O’s much more than hitting Sisco again. Instead we offended them. I would have waited until next year for payback.

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  9. OP – I’m sorry if I’m a bit grumpy today. I had a weekend where my 85 year old father-in-law got remarried, but was too cheap to hire a hall and cater it – so the kids (and the kids are in their 50’s and 60’s) had to host it at his house and when 100 people showed up it was like (as my wife said) like hosting a gala in a subway. So we had to plan it, pay for it, make food, serve it, clean it etc. Oh one thing we did not have to do was enjoy it. So I have not recovered even yet.

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    • Dan, I feel your pain. Kind of like putting 10 lbs of potatoes (or something else) in a 5 lb sack . Remember the best thing about an event like that is when it’s over.

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      • Amen Z. But there is kind of a hangover affect – just exhausted. Luckily it was such a cool and lovely weekend for this. Putting 100 people in a 5 lb sack when it is 100F outside and you can never get the house to a reasonable temperature while you are running yourself ragged

        Liked by 1 person

    • You have a better reason to be grumpy.
      I’m just grumpy because of Friday night and Sunday afternoon.
      Sounds like some person in your family thinks they had a brilliant idea and then managed to spread the horse dookie around to everyone else’s life.
      I’m pretty sure I would have not have handled it quite as well as you did.
      However, you probably were happy to go to work monday morning and have that behind you.

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      • That is not my definition of a lost weekend, Dan. All I can think of is how good you and your Mrs. should feel about yourselves.

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      • When you kill yourself for practically zero gratitude it is hard to feel that good about it. I know that is not the way it should be – but this is nothing new

        Liked by 1 person

    • Dan, sounds like he’s a smart, and cheap old coot! Between him and the new Mrs. they’ve probably got more stashed than the rest of us. If he pulls this same trick at 90, you’ll know what to do.

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      • 1) Dave you must have met him
        2) You got it – we are not going to slave over a Thanksgiving dinner – he can open that wallet, shake the moths out and ante up for a nice brunch somewhere

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Lordy I hope Altuve brought enough 5hr energy for all the guys today…they are definitely going to need it!! Ya’ll are going to have to let me know how Greinke AND Cole look today…..all I have is my radio😢!
    As Earnie Banks used to say…”Let’s play two”!!!

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    • It is kind of unfortunate to have to play just now when they have to play 13 days in a row. I wonder if they will pitch Greinke on short rest next time or bring in someone for a one timer start.

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  11. Greinke is having a tough time finding the plate??? Can’t give them a chance to get take the lead. What are you guys seeing?

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  12. He doesn’t exactly make me feel comfortable.
    Slow pitch guy who needs the ump on his side.
    But then what do I know. He is Greinke after all.

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  13. Not sure what we have with Greinke. So far in an Astro uni he looks like Dallas Keuchel Lite’. If he has this much trouble with the Rockies and the White Sox, I shudder to think what can we expect when he faces powerhouse offenses like the Indians, Twins, and Yankees? Heck – I shudder to think what can we expect against Texas, Oakland, and the Angels!

    Of course, we haven’t exactly supported him offensively, either. Cease is making our guys look pitiful

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I havent paid much attention to Greinke the last few years , was never a big fan, I always had him in the same camp as Hammels. However I didn’t realize he had become such a finesse/ nibbler.

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  15. If Greinke settles in and gives us what he’s done all year, we’ll be happy.

    Separately, I think this kid is better that his record indicates. I’d like to have him.

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  16. As constructed I’m cool with the lineup. This yrs offense looks/is better than 2017. YA & MB lengthens this vaulted lineup. Breg has improved & Altuve is back. Reddick is trickling down to his career .263, hopefully he trends up (before playoffs). The back of this lineup is SO prone; Chiniros, Maldi, Josh & Jake, while capable of streak hitting. Dislike how this lineup succumbs to mediocre soft tossers, but as in 2017, picked it up in PO & at home.
    My main concern is the BP. Is Osuna an assassin with steel in his veins? He was early on, what happened? If this bunch does not pick it up AJ will again mix and match with SP come playoff time/WS if they make it that far.

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  17. Interesting career stats for Greinke and Verlander. Greinke in age 36 year and Verlander age 35 year. HR/9 for career 0.9 and 0.9. Walks per 9 – ZG 2.0 & JV 2.6. K/9 = ZG 8.2 & JV 9.0. WHIP ZG 1.16 & JV 1.145.

    And for 2019 – JV leads the league in WHIP at 0.848 & ZG 0.937. JV at 162 innings and ZG 152 + 6 today. AND both are here for two more years.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Thanks to 3, or 4 pass balls…….I hope we get that same catcher in game #2.
    Cole has a tough first inning, let’s hope that’s not the case tonight!!

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  19. Bregman got hit in the left shoulder on Sunday, and it’s still sore. He might be able to pitch hit tonight, but more than likely play tomorrow.

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  20. Cole……right hamstring. I would assume Framber Valdez will come up while they are on the road. I sure wish Cionel Perez had shown more promise, he was showing such promise last year.

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  21. Hopefully he won’t miss more than a couple of starts, but we’ve seen all kinds of hammy injuries take quite a while to repair. If there can be a bright side to this, he’ll be getting some rest whether he wants it or not. But this setback could also be enough to lose home field in October.

    I hate the way this game has gone from the start.

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  22. The best thing about Devenski is that he will not be on a post season roster. He did not pitch terribly. But this game would be 2-1 right now had he picked up that dribbler with his hand rather than trying to use his glove. Little leaguers learn that concept. It’s inexcusable from a major league pitcher. He’s a goofball.

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  23. Well you won’t have to worry about Devo and Biagini for at LEAST 3 days, and you can add Rondon to the mix……Wade Miley is going to have to pitch 8 innings tomorrow.

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  24. Here are the Astros chosen nicknames for Nickname Weekend
    Jose Altuve: “TUVE”
    Yordan Alvarez: “YORDAN”
    Joe Biagini: “JEFFREY”
    Michael Brantley: “CHAMP”
    Alex Bregman: “A-BREG”
    Robinson Chirinos: “PELO BUCHE”
    Gerrit Cole: “CHEF G”
    Chris Devenski: “DEVO”
    Aledmys Diaz: “PAPITO”
    Zack Greinke: “GREINKE”
    Yuli Gurriel: “LA PIÑA”
    Will Harris: “CLUTCH CAM”
    Martin Maldonado: “MARTINCITO”
    Jake Marisnick: “BIG FUDGE”
    Lance McCullers Jr.: “PERDOMO”
    Collin McHugh: “12-6”
    Wade Miley: “MILES”
    Roberto Osuna: “OSUNA”
    Brad Peacock: “P”
    Ryan Pressly: “PRESS”
    Josh Reddick: “MR. IRRELEVANT”
    Hector Rondon: “RONDY”
    Aaron Sanchez: “SANCHIZE”
    Joe Smith: “SMITTY”
    George Springer: “HORHAY”
    Garrett Stubbs: “STUBBS”
    Justin Verlander: “J V”

    Awards from Dan P
    – The “Not sure of the concept” award – Tie – Greinke and Osuna
    – The “I’d like to hear the story behind that”award – Biagini / Jeffrey
    – The “I hope you share that nickname with all your teammates at the end of the season” award – Brantley/ Champ
    – The “I’m not trying to hard award” – Tie – Verlander / JV and Devenski / Devo
    – The “Cool” award – Gurriel / La Pina (pretend a put a tilde over the n)
    – The “Do guys who can’t suit up get nicknames” award – McCullers / Perdomo
    – The “I still don’t know what this means after looking it up” award – Chirinos / Pelo Buche – supposedly either means “Hair Craw” or “By the Crop”????

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  25. If we compare this year to our 2013 heroes. At the end of 2013, HRs Chris Carter 29, MattyD 21, Castro 18, & Brett Wallace 13. (No one else had 10+) 2019 – 4 with 20+, and 5 with 10+.

    End of 2013 – Carter had 82 RBIs. Matty D had 77. This year already – Yuli at 82 & 3 have 67-74. Altuve had 52 in 2013 and already same number this year. Yordan has 51 already this year. That would have been #5 for all of 2013.

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  26. 6 unearned runs in the past two games. Pitchers not helping themselves. Ugly. I know why I’m not hearing from 1OP. He’s too disgusted. Can’t blame him. Would hate to split against Sox and O’s. I’m not sure 23 runs is a good idea unless the other team has 22.

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  27. A. J. Hinch will N O T play small ball….EVER.
    Jake can’t hit the broad side of the barn…..so he stands there and strikes out.
    This is the #1 complaint I have about Hinch. PI$$ES me off so much!!
    They don’t deserve to win this game.

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    • I have to agree. I always blamed the hitting coach but you may have a point on Hinch.
      It seems the bigger the hole they dig themselves into, the harder they swing.

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  28. $*$&, another GIDP. I understand why AJ went with Diaz with pitcher salivating to get to RC & Jake but I’m weary of watching all these RISP left on base. This is the flip side of doing well & being lauded, bad and complained about. Somebody wash my mouth out with soap, losing my mind over here.

    Like

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