Astros’ offense: The black hole of 2016 returns

One of the wonders of the Houston Astros wonderful 2017 offense was the strength up and down the lineup. Even the weak link, DH Carlos Beltran put the ball in play and moved the runners over or hit a sacrifice fly once in a while. The Astros were first in almost everything (Runs, hits, BA, OBP, SLG, OPS) and were a true juggernaut. This season…..not so much.

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The next five weeks: True test for the Astros

The Astros have played very good ball up to now in the 2018 season. There have been some ups and downs, bumps here and there, some injuries (Carlos Correa and Brian McCann)  and even a few personnel “situations” (Ken Giles).  But the Astros are still on pace to win more games than they have ever won in any regular season. However, the next five weeks look especially tough and should give the Astros a true test of where they may be headed this season.

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Top trade options for the Astros

The trade season moved up to a higher gear with the trades of SS Manny Machado and RP Brad Hand in the last few days. While Machado is more of a concern if there will be an Astros’ World Series rematch with his new team, the Dodgers, Hand was a name that has been linked with the Astros a number of times over the last year. But that does not mean there are not other folks that Jeff Luhnow and the front office may be interested in chasing as the trade deadline approaches.

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