The Astros have found its swagger as they start September on the right foot.
The Houston Astros still cling on to the A.L. West lead by 2.5 games despite winning seven straight and seven of their last ten games. That’s because the Oakland Athletics remained hot and maintained their pace with the Astros by also winning seven of their last ten games.
The good news in this heated race is that the Seattle Mariners have slipped back in the standings and are now ten games behind with only 19 games left. The other good news is that the Yankees continue to tread backwards. Many people would feel like this would come in handy in playoff determinations regarding home field advantage. However, the division winner would have home-field advantage over a Wild Card team.
At 89-54 with 19 games left, they are 35 games above .500, the Astros bats have regained life as the team again claims the best-run differential in the league at +239. FiveThirtyEight.com has the Astros finishing 162-60 now with a 22% chance to win the World Series again. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Don’t forget, I was the guy who told you all to hit the panic button in efforts to wake the team up. Since that article, the Astros have gone 15-7 outscoring their opponents 116-79 in those last 22 games. You’re welcome! But, don’t thank me, thank these three players who are trending up this week.
Trending Up: Tyler White
In his last eight games, Tyler White has seen 30 at-bats and managed eight hits for a .267 batting average. He tallied hits in seven of those eight games. This September’s showing includes seven RBI, four doubles, one triple and six runs scored. White also earned three walks and struck out nine times. Stats from Baseball-Reference.
That’s not the story though. The real story is that since White had joined the roster on June 16th, he has been a .301 hitter. This includes 11 home runs and 34 RBI. Something the Astros desperately needed in the lineup. Last year’s success was due in large part to Marwin Gonzalez having a breakout season, something the team wasn’t expecting but welcomed. This season, after being riddled with injuries, Whitey emerges as the unlikely hero providing stability and offense as the big bats recover as they come back from the DL one by one. This kid will be someone to watch as the postseason rolls around. White will continue to impress when it matters most.
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Trending Up: George Springer
Well, it’s safe to say Springer is back! It took some time, but since his return to the lineup on August 17th, George has been a .333 hitter and .261 on the season. Most impressively, he is .382 in September. In the last eight outings, Springer has seen 34 plate appearances and connected on thirteen hits for that .382 batting average I mentioned.
This month alone he tallied two doubles, one home run, driven in two and scored nine runs. It’s great to have Springer back and hitting consistently again. He has hit safely in five straight including 4 of those being multiple-hit games. As the ‘Stros gain their stride back, George gains his mojo back. And what a time to gain momentum as the regular season ends in a few weeks.
Trending Up: Alex Bregman
It’s no surprise Bregman continues to trend up. It’s also no surprise he has been the hottest hitter on the squad since the All-Star break. He and White are both .323 hitters since the mid-summer classic. But Bregman’s September has been spectacular so far. In his last eight games, Bregman has been to the plate 29 times and totaled thirteen hits for a .448 batting average. He has an eight-game hit streak and hoping to elongate that streak as the team battles the Detroit Tigers in this upcoming series.
Bregman has been insane lately. The numbers continue. He accounts for six doubles, five homers, eleven RBI and eight runs scored. It’s been fun watching the good guys play lately whether it’s the camera stares, improvised luge imitations and crushing other teams’ dreams, Bregman has been fun to watch.