Their overall record still is not that good. Since July 1, the Houston Astros have posted a win-loss record of 16-25. But recently some of the process has yielded results, especially notable with the offense. So today I set out to answer the question: How good has the Houston Astros offense been recently?
Climbing Tal’s Hill and Major League Baseball agreed that Chris Carter was the Astros star performer for last week, August 11-17. MLB actually deemed Carter as being the American League’s Player of the Week.
— Houston Astros (@astros) August 18, 2014
For a refresher, Dallas Keuchel previously won AL Player of the Week honors back during the month of May. George Springer earned recognition that month as well for his outstanding month and was credited for AL Rookie of the Month.
Jose Altuve has continued his historic season. His batting average is a stunning .339 with 173 hits through mid-August. He had 177 for the entire 2013 campaign. Robbie Grossman is another key contributor to the recent offensive outburst.
Grossman, tied with Altuve, leads the Astros in On Base Percentage with a mark of .378 for the 2nd half. This has been helped by his staggering walk percentage of 16.8%. The Astros nearest competitor in this regard is Jon Singleton with a 14.3% walk rate.
These players are some of the standouts during the last few weeks. Even Dexter Fowler, who missed a significant chunk of the season due to injury, has returned to the team and quickly produced. And the immediate results of the Cosart trade, Jake Marisnick, has also been a key contributor.
Surprisingly this offensive outburst has put the Astros among the best in MLB. Most people like to look at home runs, batting average, and runs scored. Perhaps these will make you exclaim WOW! when reading these numbers.
In terms of home runs, led by Carter, the Astros have 37. This is good for second, in the 2nd half, which is only 3 short of MLB’s leading Baltimore Orioles. A .254 batting average lags closer to the middle of the pack — 11th of 30 — yet puts them ahead of a former rival in the St. Louis Cardinals.
Perhaps the most surprising fact of the batting average is that .254 as a team leads all of the teams in the American League West. Again, this data is from the second half of the 2014 season. The biggest surprise is that the Astros actually lead, yes, LEAD the MLB with 133 runs scored since the 2nd half began.
One of my favorite statistics, regarding offense, is wRC+(weighted runs created). Essentially this statistic is derived off of some other statistics. A standard mark is considered to be 100 with +/- 1 being a percent better or worse than average.
Only ten of the thirty teams in MLB are average or better offensively. This is likely an indicator of why the Astros offense looks so good recently as a whole. Regardless, in terms of wRC+, the Astros are 5th in MLB with a score of 101. The Padres have also exploded to the top of the leader board with a wRC+ of 110 which eclipses the Pirates’ mark of 109. Many people are skeptical that the recent success is real.
Astros fans can only hope, for now, that the offense can continue to be this good. But Altuve has displayed, through the course of his last 162 games, that this could all be real. With guys like Carter and Grossman continuing their success, Singleton evolving into his potential, and Springer returning for the final month of the season the Astros may be able to maintain this success. The final 37 games will be rather exciting.