The Houston Astros are on top of the American League


The Houston Astros got an unbelievable series sweep of the American League Defending Champions, the Kansas City Royals. The talking heads around baseball still feel like the Astros are not for real, and the Angels are still the team to beat in the AL West. The same team whose GM just stepped down today and has so much unrest in the clubhouse at the moment.

Let’s get back to the point, the Astros beat the Royals and now have a 47-34 record at the midway point of the season. They have the biggest division lead of any other team in the American League, including the Angels. This team has excellent chemistry and swag, that could lead to a division title.

Yes, the Royals still have a better winning percentage from playing fewer games than the Astros have thus far, the Astros made a statement to baseball by sweeping the Royals. It’s not just that they sweeped the Royals, but they dominated them for the most of the series. The Astros outscored the Royals 16 to 6, with the biggest run output occurred in last night’s game with five runs.

5. 7. 6. 135. Final

The Astros pitching staff held their own with Lance McCullers Jr pitching seven innings and allowing one run on four hits with six strikeouts. Astros ace pitcher Dallas Keuchel confused the Royals hitters for eight shutout innings while striking out seven batters in his tenth win. Continuing the great string of starting pitching, Vincent Velasquez got his six-plus innings start in a row. Velasquez lasted 6.1 innings striking out seven batters, allowing four runs with a two-run triple in the seventh inning off of Josh Fields.

The Astros are not the most efficient team at the plate, only hitting .240 as a team that ranks 13th in the AL. How are they winning, by hitting the timely homers, 115 home runs which ranks first in the league, and stealing 64 bases that rank first as well. The most important stat is that the Astros lead the league in strikeouts with 754 of them, which is 100 more than the next team. The Astros are fourth in the league in runs scored with 362 and .426 slugging percentage.

The Royals meanwhile, are near the top in batting average with a .271 batting average, but near the bottom with 57 home runs and strikeouts with 434. The Royals rank close to the middle of the pack in stolen bases with 43 stolen bases. The Royals have scored 322 runs that are 10th in the American League. The Astros and Royals record is pretty close, but their teams are opposites in most hitting stats. The Astros rely on the long ball and the Royals rely on making solid contact.

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When it comes to the Astros and Royals pitching staff, the Astros have a slight edge in ERA 3.50 to 3.52, mostly due to the pitching in the first two games of the series. It is hard to compare too much of the pitching stats because the Astros have played six more games than the Royals have this season.

The Astros are in the midst of what some would call the most difficult stretch in the schedule, facing the Yankees, Royals, Red Sox, Indians, and Rays. They are 5-2 so far in this tough stretch, and will play the rest of the games until the All-Star break on the road. The Yankees put up a fight against the Astros and tied the series. Astros fans are coming out of the woodwork to support this team, and we will accept any Astros fans to root-root-root.

Who will start for the Astros Friday? Dan Straily

The Astros may have suffered a big blow, with the injury to George Springer. What will this injury do to the Astros winning season, that is to be seen? Check back later for news on the Springer injury by Issa Cook.

Next: Houston Astros: CTH’s July Trade Deadline Preview

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