Astros: Three Things to Watch for in the Playoffs
Believe it or not, but the Astros’ postseason is just around the corner.
The Astros have clinched home field advantage in the ALDS!
Although eyes are currently fixed on earning the best record in the American League, there’s a lot to look forward to in the playoffs.
If you had asked me if Justin Verlander would be pitching for Houston, I would’ve said no way. However, I’m glad I was wrong. He is 4-0 since joining the organization, and is giving fans everything the hoped for out of his acquisition.
Verlander is giving the Astros the necessary arm to win in the postseason. He has experience and pitching caliber is dangerous against opposing teams.
Collin McHugh and Lance McCullers in a Bullpen Role
Our editor, Eric Huysman, touched on McCullers and the possibility of a role as a reliever in the postseason. From the beginning, I’ve looked for McCullers to work from the bullpen. He is susceptible to injury, so limiting his usage makes the most sense. Being a reliever, McCullers can be more aggressive and give the Astros a powerful arm who can take on a few innings, or fit a match-up to get a pivotal out.
Similar reasoning applies to McHugh’s role. He is coming off injury, and has proven inefficient on pitch count. In his last start, McHugh threw 112 pitches in 5 innings, averaging 22 pitches per inning. Although he only allowed 2 runs on 7 hits, the pitch count per inning would have to improve quickly. Short outings from starting pitchers adds pressure to the bullpen. McHugh will give the Astros added options when it comes to bullpen use.
This Potent Offense
One of the more exciting things about the Astros is their offense. Even with their best player, Jose Altuve, out of the game, the Astros managed to put up 14 runs last night.
The offense is beginning to thrive. Nothing is more fun than watching the Astros post big offensive innings.
Next: Astros: Lance McCullers' arm could play well in bullpen in October
The only thing better will be watching them post these innings in the playoffs. All in all, the offense will be the biggest threat to opposing teams. It will be fun to watch!
***Statistics courtesy of Baseball Reference***