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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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Key to victory #3: Limit the home runs

For the season, the Astros’ starting rotation has allowed 55 home runs, which is roughly middle of the pack in baseball.

Not too bad.

That said, Houston’s rotation over the last 30 days has allowed the second-highest amount of home runs with 26. Only the Rockies’ starting rotation has allowed more with 31 dingers.

Over the 30 day span mentioned, the Astros’ rotation has a 4.15 ERA. Based on the early season results, the rotation has clearly regressed. But you shouldn’t be alarmed by this fact. After all, it is difficult for any starting rotation to maintain mid-two ERA for the entire season. But home runs have become an issue in the last 30 days.

Home runs allowed by Astros’ starters over the last 30 days

  1. Gerrit Cole: 7

  2. Lance McCullers: 7

  3. Justin Verlander: 5

  4. Charlie Morton: 4

  5. Dallas Keuchel: 3

The two pitchers with most home runs allowed over the last month have been Cole and McCullers with seven apiece. Neither are scheduled to pitch in the upcoming series against the Blue Jays. But their absence doesn’t mean that the Astros need to improve on this front. In this day of launch angles and lifting the ball, home runs are to be expected. The key for the Astros is not allowing home runs with runners on-base. In turn, Houston must not issue needless walks or allow clumsy errors.

Morton’s start on Tuesday will be an interesting one to watch. If you’re not aware, Morton has allowed 11 home runs this season. Last season, he only allowed 14 dingers. While the home runs have not hurt Morton too much as shown by his 2.74 ERA on the season, it is still a cause for concern.

Next: Astros AM Breakdown: The Yuli Gurriel Game

The Astros, once again, are in good shape heading into this series against the Blue Jays. Only time will tell if it remains that way.

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