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Astros: Three keys to victory against the Blue Jays

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HOUSTON, TX - JUNE 24: Josh Reddick #22 of the Houston Astros singles in the second inning as Drew Butera #9 of the Kansas City Royals looks on at Minute Maid Park on June 24, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - JUNE 24: Josh Reddick #22 of the Houston Astros singles in the second inning as Drew Butera #9 of the Kansas City Royals looks on at Minute Maid Park on June 24, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
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HOUSTON, TX – JUNE 24: Evan Gattis #11 of the Houston Astros is congratulated by Tony Kemp #18 after hitting a home run in the eighth inning against the Kansas City Royals at Minute Maid Park on June 24, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

Here are three keys to victory for the Astros’ upcoming series against the Blue Jays.

The Astros are understandably riding high as of late. Out of the team’s last 17 games, the Astros have emerged victorious in 15 of them. The Astros also have one of the top three win-loss records with the best run differential in baseball at +169 runs.

MLB run differential leaders per ESPN

  1. Astros: +169

  2. Red Sox: +112

  3. Yankees: +100

  4. Cubs: +81

  5. Braves: +72

Good times, indeed.

Looking back, the Astros have feasted on weaker competition. Like the Indoraptor did in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Yes, the Indoraptor did some serious damage to a few unlucky souls. One could argue that the Astros have done the same to their competition.

Since the team’s stretch of four series against fellow postseason hopefuls, Houston have played against the following teams.

  • Rangers (4)

  • Athletics (3)

  • Royals (3)

  • Rays (3)

Out of those 13 games, the Astros only lost twice. Once to the Rays and another time to the Royals. Fast forward to the present and Houston is ready to host the Blue Jays this week. Despite Toronto’s 36-41 record, you shouldn’t sleep on them. The Blue Jays currently have the league’s eleventh-best offense if you go by wRC+ at 99. So, roughly around league average, which isn’t bad. Where the Blue Jays are especially hurting is their pitching staff.

Blue Jays’ pitching staff by the numbers

  • 4.55 ERA (23rd)

  • 4.34 FIP (22nd)

  • 4.38 xFIP (23rd)

  • 5.6 fWAR (t-20th)

The Astros’ offense has a 142 wRC+ over the last 14 days, so this matchup isn’t a good one on paper for Toronto. Of course, baseball is a funny game, and the favorite can easily find itself in a slump. But on paper, this is another favorable matchup for the Astros.

Here are three keys to victory for the Astros against the Blue Jays.

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