Can the Astros Continue Their Winning Ways at Home?


The Astros just finished an 8-1 road trip where they faced the Mariners, Athletics, and Padres. The only loss the Astros had was one of the games that I predicted that they would win in my Can the Astros Finish with a Winning in April? The only loss on this road trip was the third game of the Mariners series with J.A. Happ on the mound where the Astros fell 2-3. The Astros have played twelve road games and have only lost two of them so far. They currently have a 14-7 record. That’s great, but what about the Astros home field advantage at Minute Maid Park?

The Astros have played nine games in the friendly confines of MMP. They have a .444 winning percentage at home and .833 winning percentage on the road. Overall the Astros have a .667 winning percentage. To put it simply, the Astros are the hottest team in baseball.

The Astros have already reached 14 wins in 21 games, which is compared to the previous six years in the Tweet above. That’s 49% sooner to reach 14 wins last year. Reaching 14 wins is an impressive accomplishment for a team that most experts pegged to finish near the bottom of the standings at the end of the season.

The Offense at Home Versus on the Road

Let’s take a look to see what is specifically going on with the Astros offense on the road versus at home. The Stats are courtesy of ESPN team stat splits rankings.

While the Astros have played three more games on the road versus home, it’s not fair to look too deep into the counting stats such as homers, RBI, and stolen bases. What we could look at is the slash line of home versus road. The Astros are batting .174 at home which ranks last in baseball, but on the road the average ranks 3rd at .281. The on-base percentage ranks dead last at .269 at home while it ranks 3rd best overall on the road. More importantly, Jeff Luhnow’s plan of stocking the lineup is paying off on the road with first place rankings in homers (19), slugging percentage (.491), and OPS (.842).

The Astros have scored 72 runs on the road, with an average of 6.6 runs per game (range of 2 to 14). They have scored the most runs in baseball by a large number on the road. However, at home they have only scored 21 runs in nine games, with an average of 2.3 runs per game (range 0 to 6). They rank dead last in runs scored with 21. These numbers are as bad of a split as Luis Valbuena‘s splits versus left-handers compared to right-handers.

Home versus Road Pitching

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While the Astros pitching has been rock solid, is there a difference between the stats at home versus away games? Let’s take a look at the splits of the pitching. The Stats are courtesy of

ESPN team stat splits rankings


Away: 9-2/ 3.29 ERA/ 4 HRs/ 80 Ks in 104 innings/ 1.13 WHIP

Home: 4-5/ 3.11 ERA/ 11 HR/ 74 Ks in 81 innings/ 1.00 WHIP

Unlike the bats, the pitching appears to be consistent at home compared to the road at least in terms of ERA. The Astros seem to strike out more batters at home while maintaining a better ERA and WHIP. So the pitching does not explain why the Astros are better on the road versus home.

Can the Astros Bring Winning Ways Home?

I am not an expert, but part of the issues at home could stem from expectations of players by the fans. The new players especially probably have self-imposed pressure to produce in front of the home fans. Individual Astro players tend to be slow starters, so most of the early games were played at home. Players such as Chris Carter and George Springer have a history of slow starts, and Evan Gattis has joined this rank of players with his. The pitching has carried the team all year, so many of the early losses were close games. During the last home stand versus the Angels, the Astros won the last two games and appeared to start hitting better.

The fact that they struggled could have more to do with the fact that they were just in a hitting funk then, versus playing at home causing the struggles at the plate. If we have to remove the train, any Astros logos, and the Minute Maid Park signs while the Astros play at home, so be it. Maybe the Astros are so hot they might forget they are at home. Hopefully, they’ll be setting off fireworks, and the train will roar many times versus the Mariners.

The Astros have also found a knack for getting to an opponent’s bullpen. The Astros have scored 45 runs in the seventh inning or later in games, which ranks number one in all of baseball. They have also hit 12 home runs after the seventh inning. To further demonstrate this, in the Padres series, the Astros scored 20 runs off of Padres relievers. That’s almost half of the runs being scored in seven-plus innings in this last series alone.

If the Astros can learn how to win at home, this team could be a real factor in the playoff race later in the year. If the Astros make the playoffs this year, look for Disney to make a movie titled “In Luhnow We Trust.” I just bought my tickets for Saturday’s game, when are you going to watch your first place Astros?

Next: Is Luis Valbuena Part of the Astros Future

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