Apparently, all the Astros’ needed for the bats to wake up was to play in front of their home crowd, sweeping the series against the Oakland A’s.
The Astros started their season with a seven-game road trip and came home with a 2-5 record. In those seven games, they scored only 15 runs. In the first three games played in Minute Maid Park, the Astros score 18 runs and get back up to a .500 record at 5-5.
The offense had a slash line of .235/.304/.363 over the seven games they played away. While playing in the comfort of their home stadium the last three games, their slash line was a crushing .327/.403/.558. Their OPS was .667 in the away games and nearly a 300 point rise to .961 at home.
Three of the players that are considered to be the catalysts of the team are Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Michael Brantley, the #2, #3, and #4 spots in the batting order. In the seven games on the road, Altuve had a batting average of .222 and Bregman and Brantley both had a .208 BA. In the three home games Bregman, Altuve, and Brantley batted .636, .417 and .333 respectively.
Hopefully, the Astros can continue the streak in these next three games against the New York Yankees. The Yankees pitching staff is ranked 6th in the league with an ERA of 2.89, just ahead of Houston’s 3.07 ERA. The Astros will face starters Masahiro Tanaka, Jonathan Loaisiga and left-hander, James Paxton.
What turned things around for the Astros’ offense is anyone’s guess. Was it due to playing in the comforts of their home stadium? Possibly just favorable pitcher vs. batter match-ups. Most likely it’s just a very talented lineup that was overdue to play up to their potential. I think everyone knew it was just a matter of time. I definitely don’t think any of the players or coaches in the dugout was worried.