Could the Houston Astros Finish April With a Winning Record?
By Eric Huysman
In case you missed it while you were asleep, the Houston Astros played a back and forth game versus the Seattle Mariners on Monday night. It looked like the game was out of the Astros reach with the way the offense has struggled recently. While the offense seems to be on life-support, they showed signs of life in Monday night’s 7-5 win versus the Mariners.
The Astros once again caused Mariners fans to be sleepless in Seattle while you were sleeping last night. The Mariners had control of the game, but the Astros scored five runs in the eighth inning in to take the lead. The five runs gave McHugh the win on a night he didn’t have great stuff, and the bullpen sealed the deal. The Astros won 6-3, which gives them an 8-6 record.
The Astros have three sluggers who are struggling in Chris Carter, Evan Gattis, and George Springer. For the Astros to have a winning record 13 games in, with how anemic the offense has been, speaks to the quality of the pitching the Astros are trotting out.
Could it be possible for the Astros to maintain a winning record all season? Too soon to tell, but we could look at whether the Astros could finish April with a winning record? This concept is very radical to Astros fans, with a losing record for the better part of a decade.
As of Wednesday morning, the Astros have an 8-6 record and sole possession of first place in the AL West. Depending on what the Astros do in tonight’s late night game, the Astros could show that they are for real. Maybe there was some sanity in Jeff Luhnow’s moves this offseason.
Schedule and Matchups in April
Before we go too crazy on thinking of a winning April, let’s look at the remaining games this month. These are the probable pitchers and things could change.
4-22-15: Astros @ Mariners – Roberto Hernandez vs. J.A. Happ
4-24-15: Astros @ Athletics – Dallas Keuchel vs. Scott Kazmir
4-25-15: Astros @ Athletics – Scott Feldman vs. Kendall Graveman
4-26-15: Astros @ Athletics – Asher Wojciechowski vs. Drew Pomeranz
4-27-15: Astros @ Padres – Collin McHugh vs. James Shields
4-28-15: Astros @ Padres – Roberto Hernandez vs. Tyson Ross
4-28-15: Astros @ Padres – Dallas Keuchel vs. Andrew Cashner
4-30-15: Mariners @ Astros – James Paxton vs. Scott Feldman
Nine games remain on the schedule for the Astros in April; six of them are against AL West competition which could help the Astros pull away from the pack. A season long winning record will depend on whether the Astros solid play is legit at this point. The Astros do have one positive note: they have one of the better bullpens in baseball. Even though Collin McHugh was off a little in last night’s game (still pitched seven innings), the Astros rotation has performed well.
Astros Wins Predictions
Here are my predictions for the rest of the games this month. They will complete the sweep of the Mariners tonight, and go into the A’s series with a little cushion. The Padres series is the one that is causing me to doubt that the Astros could finish April with a winning record. The Astros will face the top three Padres starters, and Houston struggles versus hard throwing pitchers. While they could lose all three, I’ll predict they win one out of three.
While tonight’s starter for Seattle, J.A. Happ has pitched well this year, the Astros have found a way to win recently. (9-6 record)
The Athletics are waiting for the Astros to flounder; they are in second place as of last night with a 7-7 record. The game versus Kazmir is already a win for the A’s. They could win the other two games, especially the Pomeranz game. I will go with one out of three games for this series. (10-8 record )
The Astros will face the top three Padres starters, they struggle versus hard throwing pitchers. While they could lose all three, I’ll predict they win one out of three. The Astros win Dallas Keuchel’s game versus the Padres. (11-10 record)
The last game of April is a home game versus the Mariners, who the Astros seem to match up well with. While I respect Paxton’s ability, I see the Astros winning this game. (12-10 record)
I am predicting that the Astros will win 12 games and lose 10 games. Twelve wins in April will be a good start to get the Astros to finish with a .500 record this year. A winning start to the season will give fans hope, as well as a great step by everyone involved. Once this team starts hitting, watch out baseball. Watch out Astros fans, the bandwagon fans are about to hop on.
What do you think about the Astros chances of the Astros finishing the month with a winning record? Let’s see what other CTH writers think below.
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