The Astros sure hit into a lot of ground ball double plays.
If you are a Houston Astros fan, you probably love the personalities on this team with the dugout stares. They ushered out a new move last night with Alex Bregman doing the limbo under Tony Kemp as he was held up by Jake Marisnick. During AJ Hinch‘s interview with the Sunday Night Baseball crew last night, many players crashed his interview including Justin Verlander rowing behind him and Dallas Keuchel‘s many hijinks. This team has fun while winning games.
You have to be excited about the Astros 84-53 record with a 2.5 game lead over the Athletics. They still have the lowest team ERA in baseball with a 3.13 ERA, followed by the Dodgers with a 3.41 ERA. They are also striking out a lot of batters with 1,437 strikeouts in 1232 1/3 innings pitched, which leads baseball. All stats via ESPN team stats pages.
Fans have to be pumped to have the Core Four players back in the lineup. But, what about the double play?
They may not have the best record in the American League, but as long as they avoid the Wild Card game, they should have a chance to go deep into the playoffs. One thing that probably frustrates you as an Astros fan is the double play. The pitching could carry the team with timely offense, but every out means more in the playoffs. Unfortunately, the Astros are leading baseball with 137 ground ball double plays.
Yes, it sucks when a hitter hits into a rally-killing double play. But the Astros are a high contact team as they have struck out the second fewest times in baseball with 1,031 team strikeouts. When you put the ball in play, there is a better chance of reaching base versus the strikeout. They also get a lot of walks with 476 (9th) and catcher’s interference with 7 (1st). Just wanted to throw that last stat out.
Who has hit into the most double plays this year? Let’s take a look via Baseball-Reference.
Yuli Gurriel 22
With teams that normally hit into a large number of double plays are getting a lot of traffic on the bases. Also, the Astros are 11th with a 0.76 groundball/flyball rate, meaning they typically hit flyball. The team tends to go as the top of the order goes. As we can see from those players involved, they are not all slow players, they are just hitting into bad luck.
The opposing teams are scouting and using analytics to determine how to get the Astros out. With the dynamic offense being led by Bregman and Tyler White, hopefully, it won’t hamper them down the stretch. As the playoffs near, the double plays could lead to issues.