There is just something about playing in Tampa that doesn’t do the Astros any favors.
Although the Astros emerged victorious on Opening Day, the weekend turned into a rather bleak affair. No, wait, bleak may not be the right word. How about boring? Yes, boring seem to fit the Astros this past weekend.
The Astros’ lineup failed to back up its pitching staff for most of the Opening Series. While Opening Day did feature a healthy five run output, that was about all of the optimism it could’ve muster this weekend. Overall, the Astros slashed a dreadful .213/.275/.362 against the Rays. Remove Opening Day from the equation and you come out with a .185/.257/.261 slash line.
Another discouraging aspect about the club was their blunders on the base paths. Four Houston runners were caught stealing (Yuli Gurriel, Jose Altuve, Michael Brantley, and Jake Marisnick) while only one was successful in converting a stolen base (Tony Kemp). For a club that desires efficiency, the mistakes on the base paths have to be minimal.
At the same time, it is really nothing to be concerned about right now. For one, the Rays won 90 games last season, which wasn’t good enough for the postseason. Tampa Bay is a quality club that’ll likely contend for a spot in the postseason again this year. And the Opening Series is only a small sample. Weird things can happen in small samples. The club went through a similar stretch against the Yankees in 2018 when the club only mustered two runs in three games. Like last season, I don’t anticipate the lineup to be a problem, especially at full health.
There isn’t much to take away from only four games, especially to start a season. The Astros still have plenty of time (158 games) to right the ship.