Astros on top of MLB power rankings and rightly so
By Brian Murray
The Houston Astros are currently ranked as the best MLB team in virtually all of the top sports media outlets and is well deserved.
I know you don’t have to be told, we all already know the Astros are the best. But after checking the major sports sites, apparently, everyone else agrees with us. USA Today, ESPN, CBS Sports, MLB.com and Yahoo Sports all have Houston as there number one team this week.
It’s not just that the Astros happen to have the best record in the Majors. The claim is backed up by statistical evidence across the board. They are at, or near the top of most major categories in batting, pitching and fielding.
As mentioned before, Houston has the best record in baseball at 33-16, a .673 winning percentage. That’s probably the most common fact looked at and also one of the most obvious. But one of the numbers that is really glaring is their run differential.
The Astros have scored 266 runs and they have allowed other teams to score 167 runs against them. That’s a 99 run differential in the 49 games they’ve played to date. The next closest team is Minnesota at 81 and then third are the Dodgers way down at 69. That’s real close to a two-run lead per game average.
Houston’s team slash line is .279/.353/.505 with an OPS of .858. All four of those numbers are the best in the Majors. They also lead the league with 462 hits and 836 total bases and are on top in RC/G (Runs Created per Game) at 6.2 and have the best OPS+ with a 129.
The pitchers are also doing their part to keep Houston on top. Their 1.03 WHIP is the lowest in baseball as well as their opponents’ BA at .203. They are currently second behind the Tampa Bay Rays with a 3.31 ERA.
We can’t leave out the defensive play. The Astros are tied for second in the fewest errors at 19 and also tied for second with a .989 fielding percentage.
If they can keep this up, they’re on their way to enjoying one of their best seasons yet. With a .673 win percentage extended out to the end of the season, the Astros would win a franchise record 109 games. So as you can see, Houston is having a spectacular season so far, even after starting out 2-7.
*** All statistics provided by baseball-reference.com ***