Following a much-needed off-day, the Astros head west to California for their next series.
The Astros are riding high following a four-game sweep of the Rangers in Arlington. Regardless of the opponent, the act of sweeping four games on the road is not easy.
THE OFF-DAY BLUES HAVE BEEN TEMPORARILY REPRIEVED!
Unfortunately for Houston, the team still faces a fair share of competition within the division. To start the season, the thorn in the team’s side were the Angels. And they are still hanging around, yet Shohei Ohtani‘s latest injury may change the Angels’ season outlook. But Los Angeles still has a guy named Mike Trout.
Yes, Trout is the best player in baseball. No flipping doubt.
As of late, the Mariners and their incredible record in one-run games is the thorn in Houston’s side. And the Athletics are not exactly pushovers this season.
The AL West is not a pushover division. At the same time, Houston has been really, really good.
2018 Run Differential in the AL West entering Monday
- Astros: +127 runs
- Angels: +36 runs
- Mariners: +20 runs
- Athletics: +10 runs
- Rangers: -70 runs
If you go by the expected records, the Astros are still underperforming. And the Mariners are overperforming. Seattle’s success this season, which is great for their fans, is reminiscent of Texas’ success during the 2016 season. Again, the record in the one-run games for the Rangers (36-11) was a key reason why Houston didn’t win the AL West that season. I blame the water in Arlington.
Talking about struggles, the team needs Dallas Keuchel to pitch more like he is capable of in the coming weeks. At the same time, Richard Justice of MLB.com indicated in a series of tweets that Keuchel’s latest start was more of a byproduct of bad luck.
I concur with Mr. Justice. And, yes, Keuchel does pitch to generate contact. Preferably soft contract. Indeed, he did just that on Sunday in Arlington, but the results were not optimal. Again, bad luck.
Houston Astros News and Notes From Around FanSided
Minor League Recap June 4-10: Strong homestand for Fresno [Climbing Tal’s Hill – Andrew Gleinser]
Do the Astros have a new closer in Hector Rondon? [Climbing Tal’s Hill – Eric Huysman]
Houston Astros: The team will be buyers at the trade deadline [House Of Houston – Brian K. Patterson]
Houston Astros hope draft pick is best Beer they’ve ever bought [Call To The Pen – Kyle Cardoza]
More Houston Astros and General Baseball News From Around the Internet
The AL West and One-Run Success [FanGraphs – Jay Jaffe]
The Year of the Pitcher: Baseball 50 Years Ago (June 10, 1968) [Baseball Prospectus – Rob Mains] *Subscription Required*
Plate Discipline Key to Alex Bregman’s Improvement So Far in 2018 [Crawfish Boxes – Issa Cook]
We hope you enjoyed this edition of the Astros AM Breakdown.
**Statistics and information courtesy of FanGraphs**