Comparing the Astros slow start in 2019 to past seasons
It is no secret that the Astros have gotten off to a rather slow start, especially from the lineup. Thankfully, there is a lot of baseball left to be played in 2019.
Six games into the 2019 season and the Astros have already run into a bit of trouble. For one, the lineup has yet to failed to live up to its billing. The pitching staff, however, has been a near constant positive for the club in this young season. The result is a 2-4 record with a -3 run differential. Barring something unforeseen though, the Astros will likely turn it around and transform back into juggarnaut that they truly are.
That said, it doesn’t mean we can’t take a look into the numbers and see where the Astros stand this year compared to past seasons. Specifically, the 2017 and 2018 seasons. First, let’s take a look at the offensive output through six games.
- 2017: .227/.287/.379, 8 HR, .666 OPS
- 2018: .288/.368/.507, 8 HR, .876 OPS
- 2019: .237/.310/.376, 6 HR, .686 OPS
It is easy to decipher that Houston hitters are off to a slow start this season. We really haven’t seen Jose Altuve (.588 OPS), Alex Bregman (.733 OPS), Michael Brantley (.768 OPS), Tyler White (.657 OPS), and Tony Kemp (.237 OPS) take off. Carlos Correa (.962 OPS) and George Springer (.936 OPS), along with Jake Marisnick (1.053 OPS) when he plays, are the consistent offensive forces thus far. However, we must keep in mind that six games is an awfully small sample to draw any meaningful conclusions from at this juncture.
On the pitching side, well, it has been about constant over the past three seasons through six games.
- 2017: 58 IP, 26 BB, 53 SO, 6 HR, 2.79 ERA
- 2018: 53 IP, 15 BB, 62 SO, 7 HR, 2.72 ERA
- 2019: 50 IP, 7 BB, 62 SO, 5 HR, 2.70 ERA
The incredible point about Houston’s pitching in 2019 is the lack of walks. Only seven! Outside of the Astros, only the Mets (8) have issued fewer than ten walks this season. Although Justin Verlander didn’t have a quality start on Tuesday, the rotation has been generally solid. The bullpen hasn’t experienced a meltdown quite yet, which is always a nice thing. For a staff that has experienced so much turnover since the 2017 season, it is nice to see the Astros continue to generate such quality numbers. Speaks volumes about the players, front office analysis, and coaching. Shout out to pitching coach Brent Strom!
Based on a pure record standpoint, the Astros are off to their worst start in the past three seasons. At the same time, it is hard to take much stock in the early season results. For one, the 2017 club, you know, the one that won a World Series, started 3-3, which is only one game better than their current record. Sure, it would’ve been lovely to see Houston replicate their 5-1 start last season, but baseball is a hard game to conquer. My message to you, the possibly concerned fan, is this: The season is still very, very young. Worry about other things. Don’t worry about the Astros so quickly.