The Astros have continued their winning ways in Arlington and the organization’s top prospect returned to action this most recent Friday.
Thus far in the 2018 season, the Astros have played the Rangers in Arlington a total of six times. In those six games, the Astros are 5-1 with a +18 run differential in North Texas. Quite the reversal compared to a few years ago when Houston couldn’t buy a win in Arlington.
Justin Verlander earned his eighth win of the season by allowing three runs on five hits and three walks in six innings. He also struck out nine Rangers. Sure, it wasn’t Verlander’s best start or anything, but anytime a starting pitcher can provide six innings of three-run ball you should take it.
Jose Altuve also made some noise with his league-leading 56th hit on the road. The 2017 AL MVP in his last 15 games has a .429/.455/.651 slash line with three home runs and 27 total hits. Altuve entering Saturday’s game now has a .856 OPS on the season.
And Tony Kemp deserves his own highlight reel.
Seriously, I am not kidding about the highlight reel. The man can make some amazing defensive catches.
Down on the farm, Houston’s top prospect, Forrest Whitley, made his long-awaited season debut following his return from a 50-game suspension. And he didn’t disappoint.
Randy Cesar also made some news as he now has a 30-game hit streak for the Corpus Christi Hooks. The age-23 hitter has a .914 OPS in 52 games for Houston’s Double-A affiliate in the Texas League.
Houston Astros News and Notes From Around FanSided
Houston Astros: Keeping it in the family with selection of familiar brothers [House Of Houston –Dan Shedd]
MLB History: Top 25 first basemen in MLB History [Call To The Pen – Bobby Mueller]
"We’ll never know what Bagwell and friends would have done had the 1994 season played out, but we do know that 1994 was Bagwell’s breakout year. In addition to his league-leading 116 RBI, he also led the league with 104 runs scored and was second in home runs, with 39."
The unexpectedly competitive AL West [Call To The Pen –Jacob Chatfield]
"The Astros are still the on-paper best team in the division, but they need to continue to be the best on-field team."
Astros activate Brian McCann and DFA Tim Federowicz [Climbing Tal’s Hill – Eric Huysman]
More Houston Astros and General Baseball News From Around the Internet
Correa’s sore right side ‘nothing major’ [MLB.com – Alyson Footer]
"“I got some really good news — nothing major,” Correa said. “We’ll take it day by day and see how it works the next time I swing. I can’t wait to be back out there; I want to play every day.”"
The Most and Least Team-Friendly Strike Zones [FanGraphs – Jeff Sullivan]
Astros product Forrest Whitley returns with no change in expectations [Houston Chronicle – Hunter Atkins]
We Are Family: Astros Draft Familiar Names in Late Rounds [Houston Press – Jeff Balke]
Baseball Therapy: How To Beat The Shift [Baseball Prospectus –Russell A. Carleton]
We hope you enjoyed this edition of Astros AM Breakdown.
**Statistics and information courtesy of MLB.com and MiLB.com**