Astros News

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 22: Dallas Keuchel #60 of the Houston Astros pitches in the first inning against the Kansas City Royals at Minute Maid Park on June 22, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

Key to victory #2: Dallas Keuchel continues to rebound

Much has been made about Keuchel’s recent troubles this season. And some of that criticism is deserving. The Astros need more of “vintage” Keuchel compared to one who produced the results from May 19th to June 10th.

Keuchel by the numbers, 5/19 to 6/10

  • 5 starts

  • 27 innings pitched

  • 41 hits allowed

  • 23 runs allowed (22 earned runs)

  • 7 walks

  • 21 strikeouts

  • 19% HR/FB

  • 7.33 ERA

  • 4.37 FIP

  • 3.71 xFIP

The June 10th start against Texas was the outlier, in which Keuchel was more of a victim of bad luck. Of the 13 hits he surrendered that day, 12 were singles. His 82.3 MPH exit velocity numbers were also quite good. But Keuchel’s ERA that day was a whooping 10.38. His FIP and xFIP? A much improved 2.42 and 3.92.

That said, Keuchel has appeared to turn the corner in his last two starts.

Keuchel by the numbers, 6/16 to 6/22

  • 2 starts

  • 12 innings pitched

  • 12 hits allowed

  • 2 runs allowed (0 earned runs)

  • 3 walks

  • 11 strikeouts

  • 0% HR/FB

  • 0.00 ERA

  • 2.02 FIP

  • 2.98 xFIP

While two starts isn’t a substantial sample size, it does have positive indicators. For example, a 87.7 MPH average exit velocity on 37 results. Between May 10th and June 5th, the average exit velocity off of Keuchel’s pitches was 90.7 MPH. He clearly had some issues in those starts, but the last three outings are encouraging. His start against Toronto on Wednesday will be another test. If the Astros want to be in the best shape going forward, more “vintage” Keuchel will be needed.

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