The Astros came into the postseason with one of the top offenses in the MLB. But, they haven’t been firing on all cylinders, and the team is fully aware.
The Houston Astros offense set a Major League record in the regular season with a .495 slugging percentage and led the league with the lowest strikeout to walk ratio. This team is built to get hits, score runs, and power them to victory, even when their pitching staff isn’t putting up zeros.
Looking back at the Division Series win over the Rays, offensively speaking, one number stood out to me. That is the number eight, sticking with the offense here the Astros racked up eight hits or more in their three wins. They didn’t punish the Rays. They didn’t pile it on, but they did get eight hits or more in all three games. Alex Bregman in a postgame interview mentioned the lack of offense after the game.
"“I think everyone is frustrated when we don’t win,” Bregman said. “Because we know we are a better offense than (what we’ve shown). But we’re not going up there frustrated. We’re going up there trying to compete and put together a good at-bat. We just haven’t done that yet.” via Bradford Doolittle of ESPN."
With Michael Brantley, Jose Altuve, and Kyle Tucker mustering the only hits in game one, it’s safe to say they have their work cut out for them going forward. There has been a lot of talk when it comes to the 2019 Astros and whether this team is just as good if not better than the 2017 World Championship team. This team has the potential to be better, but hasn’t performed close to what the 2017 team did leading up to the World Series and eventually clinching the clubs Title.
This lineup 1-7 is in the top three, hands down this season, but will this 107-win team find their way back into offensive prominence before it’s too late? Who will step up for the Astros? While Jose Altuve has really had one of the best postseasons to date, what players will step up in Game 2? When you think back to 2017, you see hitters like Yuli Gurriel, Jose Altuve, and Alex Bregman making huge impacts.
The Astros have managed a team BA of .268 vs James Paxton. In 228 at-bats, they collected 61 hits, seven home runs, 23 RBIs, 23 BBs, and 58 Ks, all while slugging .425 and an OPS of .759
This offense has had success vs. James Paxton, the top three Astros hitters vs Paxton are:
- Jose Altuve .333 (10-30, including 2 HRs)
- Carlos Correa .409 (9-22, including 3 2Bs)
- Michael Brantley .333 (4 for 12)
So what are the keys to the Astros offense against James Paxton?
- The Houston Astros have to jump on Paxton early, with a combination of contact on the first pitch and be stingy when he throws over the middle of the plate.
- The Astros must extend the counts by not chasing pitches out of the zone.
- George Springer needs to do what he does, lead off the game with a Springer Dinger. As George goes, so goes the Astros offense.
The Astros are far from done, and yes losing game one was not ideal, but this team won’t lay down. The Yankees know they aren’t going to have it this easy the rest of the way. When the bats wake up, the series will look a lot different in the end.