Looking at the Houston Astros’ 2015 vs. 2016 starting pitchers in the first 21 games.
While there is no denying the Houston Astros are struggling in 2016, the team have faced several playoff teams to start off the season in the Yankees, Royals, and Rangers. The Red Sox are expected to be a playoff contender this season, and the Mariners are playing well right now. The Astros team as a whole is struggling, but much of the focus has been on the rotation and the bottom of the lineup. Are the Astros starters that off from their start last season?
Last season through 21 games, the Astros were 14-7 sitting comfortably in first place. Crush City was in the process of developing as well as the beginning of Club Astros generating the great feeling in the locker room that led them to the playoffs. The hopes were high that the Astros would be able to duplicate the success of last year but often have fallen behind early in games this season.
The starting pitcher has the biggest impact on the game, similar to a Quarterback in football because they can either build the momentum or deliver a crushing blow. Too many times this year the starters have gotten the Astros off on the wrong foot, let’s take a look at the team ERA in the first 21 innings in the first through third innings.
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First Inning: 9.86 ERA/ 23 earned runs/ 6 homers/ .363 batting average.
Second Inning: 5.14 ERA/ 12 earned runs/ 2 homers/ .278 batting average.
Third Inning: 4.71 ERA/ 11 earned runs/ 2 homers/ .299 batting average.
How do the 2016 starters compare to the 2015 counterpart through 21 games, the results might be shocking Just remember, last year’s rotation through the first 21 games consisted of names like Asher Wojciechowski, Roberto Hernandez, and Brad Peacock.
Last year, the starters allowed 54 earned runs in 124.2 innings, which equates to approximately a 3.89 ERA. The Astros starters this season in fewer innings, 113.2 innings, they have allowed 25.9% more earned runs (68) for a 5.47 ERA. Walks have increased from 33 allowed in 2015 to 42 this year, part of this lies with the unusually high number from reigning Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel.
With these stats, you can imagine that hits also increased from 113 to 140 (23.9% change), increasing the WHIP from 1.170 in 2015 to 1.628 in 2016, which is a 39.2% raise. Scarier is the fact that the Astros starters have allowed 45.5% more homers this season, 11 versus 16 homers allowed.
These numbers are scary considering the rotation was supposed to be a strength for the Astros this year, they did not upgrade the rotation except for the addition if Doug Fister. One thing the Astros have against them is Lance McCullers missing time with the shoulder soreness. Chris Devenski has replaced Scott Feldman in the rotation for now.
These guys need to turn things around, averaging only five innings per start by your starting pitchers will wear down the bullpen. In tonight’s game, McHugh allowed the 17th homer by an Astros starter to Robinson Cano in the first.
**Stats from Baseball-Reference**