The surprise Houston Astros have shocked the world in 2015, and they currently have a 1 1/2 game lead in the American League West over the surging Texas Rangers. The Astros also have one of the best pitching staff in baseball with a 3.39 team ERA before yesterday’s game while near the top in homers and steals. The Astros have one of the best young stars in the game in Carlos Correa. Despite everything listed, there is a chance that the Astros will fall short of reaching the playoffs.
Looking at Fangraphs Playoff odds, the Astros have no problem reaching the playoffs in 2015. There Astros are predicted to have an 87-75 record after the last regular season game. The Rangers are expected to have an 85-77 record, so the race is going to close until the final day of the season. The Astros have a 91% chance of making the playoffs with a 72% chase of winning the division and a 19% chance of being one of the two wild-card slots. So the math gives the Astros pretty good odds of making the playoffs, but with the way they are playing recently, it’s difficult to match up the theoretical and experimental probability.
The only way that the Astros don’t make the playoffs is the way they play on the road. They have played 70 games on the road this season, leaving 11 of the remaining 20 games in 2015 on the road. They have a 28 and 42 record on the road this season, which is a .400 winning record compared to the 48 and 24 record at home for a .667 winning percentage. Surprisingly enough, the Astros have scored 25 more runs on the road than they have allowed, 300 to 275 respectively.
The Astros have been at .500 or above .500 each month this season. Except for September, where they have only won three games out of the last ten games. For the most part, the pitching has been decent, but the offense has been feast or famine recently. Many people though the return of George Springer would make a big impact on the team, but unfortunately, his return came before a three team road trip.
The Texas Rangers
The Rangers, after stinking earlier in the season, they have really excelled after trading for Cole Hamels at the trade deadline. However, before that trade, the Rangers were already dominating the Astros at home. The Astros still have to play the Rangers seven times out of the 20 games left with four of them at Arlington. If the Astros lose five or more times to the Rangers, it could severely affect the Astros chances of making the playoffs.
Three ways to perceive the Houston Astros 2015 season.
We suck again!
Some Astros fans might be disappointed if the team does not even make the playoffs, because after years of losing by the Astros, we finally had a team to compete. These people might point to the Carlos Gomez and Mike Fiers trade as the straw that broke the camels back. These people will jump back off the bandwagon train, and ignore the Astros again until they can duplicate this play in 2016. The Astros wasted an opportunity with an excellent pitching staff to go deep.
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There was progress!
This team won 70 games all of last year, they already have 76 wins on September 13 this year. They have really improved from last year, and they should grow even more next year. These type of people probably felt that Astros would finish around .500 in 2015, so these guys are happy with the overall progress.
We had an excellent season, think of how good they will be next year!
This is the group of Astros fans who are so excited about what the Astros have done this season, and with the current core of Astros players. These fans might feel that all this team is lacking is an RBI type of guy to be in the cleanup role. The person that might best fit that position could be A.J. Reed, who just completed his 2015 season last night with the Corpus Christi Hooks in the final game of the playoffs loss.
No matter what happens this season, it has been a good run and a good peek into the future of the Houston Astros. It’s good to have the Astros be relevant again. The Astros should be a desired location for the premium free agents this offseason, even if they don’t make the playoffs. The Astros should still make the playoffs because of their strong play earlier in the year, they just need to make sure they hold on during their final 20 games. Let’s go Astros!