Astros News

First Place Looks Good on the Astros

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May 4, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros first baseman Marwin Gonzalez (9) crosses home plate after hitting a solo home run against the Texas Rangers during the fourth inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports
May 4, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros first baseman Marwin Gonzalez (9) crosses home plate after hitting a solo home run against the Texas Rangers during the fourth inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports /
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If you haven’t paid much attention to Astros utilityman Marwin Gonzalez, well, you probably need to starting now.

Not all superheroes wear capes. Take Aquaman…wait, bad example. No offense, but he’s not like these guys. You know, Daredevil, Green Lantern, Wolverine, Iron Man, etc. Anyway, the Astros equivalent of a superhero with no cape has to be Marwin Gonzalez.

Honestly, I can spend all of this post typing about Gonzalez and his newly discovered home run prowess. After all, he is closing in on Astros history.

And he did make MLB history.

But this post is meant to brag about the Astros as a collective unit. This team does happen to be one of the best in baseball at the moment. And baseball is supposedly a team sport.

So, where should I start?

The obvious answer is the series win against the dastardly Texas Rangers. It’s no secret that the Rangers had the Astros number the past two seasons. Not surprisingly, there is a bit of animosity between the two clubs. See Monday’s dust up between Lance McCullers and Mike Napoli.

Anyway, the Astros essentially looked competent against their in-state rivals. And competent teams win baseball games, no matter who is stepping foot on the field. In theory, anyway. While the 10-1 victory from Wednesday was fun to watch from start to finish, the game on Tuesday was probably the most rewarding to the Astros.

Seriously, I’m not trying to make this a Marwin Gonzalez post. But his fingerprints were all over this homestand.

Seriously, though, the Astros have received contributions from up-and-down the roster. For example, Dallas Keuchel, the April AL Pitcher of the Month, has continued to look like the ace pitcher that we feel heads over heels with in 2015. We witnessed McCullers continue his home dominance. Charlie Morton had a terrific start on Wednesday. Not to mention that Carlos Correa has started to heat up and the offense continues to engineer come-from-behind victories.

In a nutshell, the Astros have performed as well as expected. Or even slightly better in terms of their Pythagorean win-loss record. Per Baseball Reference before yesterday’s loss, Houston had an expected record of 18-10. They were 19-9 before their tenth loss officially hit the books. That’s still good for first place in the AL West.

The Astros are in first place in the AL West by no accident. For example, their +31 run differential is the third best in baseball at the time that I’m writing this post. Only the Washington Nationals and New York Yankees are better in this regard. The closest divisional opponent is the Rangers with a 0 run differential.

Next: Astros: Dallas Keuchel wins AL Pitcher of the Month

Needless to say, the Astros look legit this season. There still are issues with the starting rotation as we just witness Mike Fiers and Joe Musgrove surrender a combined ten earned runs in their latest outings. But that’s a problem for another day. Enjoy this day as the Astros are one of the best teams in baseball in terms of record. These days have proven to come few and far between.

**Statistics courtesy of Baseball Reference and MLB.com**

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