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Astros: Days of rest will have positive impact on team

HOUSTON, TEXAS - AUGUST 29: Josh Reddick #42 of the Houston Astros celebrates with Martin Maldonado #42 after hittting a home run in the fourth inning against the Oakland Athletics during game one of a doubleheader at Minute Maid Park on August 29, 2020 in Houston, Texas. All players are wearing #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. The day honoring Jackie Robinson, traditionally held on April 15, was rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TEXAS - AUGUST 29: Josh Reddick #42 of the Houston Astros celebrates with Martin Maldonado #42 after hittting a home run in the fourth inning against the Oakland Athletics during game one of a doubleheader at Minute Maid Park on August 29, 2020 in Houston, Texas. All players are wearing #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. The day honoring Jackie Robinson, traditionally held on April 15, was rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
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The Houston Astros recent run of days off will help them out after the season they’ve had.

Houston fans haven’t seen a whole lot of their team lately, which at first glance might sound like a bad thing. The Astros are in the midst of a six-day stretch in which they only play two games, both of which came on the same day (Saturday’s doubleheader). That means there are five days in this six-day stretch in which they don’t play a game.

Fans obviously miss the action, and there might be a concern about some players getting a little rusty. In particular, outfielder Kyle Tucker has been on fire at the plate, so giving him a chance to cool off might not be the best thing. But there are plenty of reasons why these days off are a good thing.

The main reason is the Astros are coming off a stretch from Aug. 4 to Aug. 25 when they played 22 games in 22 days when you factor in the doubleheader against the Angels on Aug. 25. A lot happened in that span — they had a five-game losing streak and an eight-game winning streak. They got swept twice and pulled off two sweeps of their own.

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They also had Michael Brantley and George Springer go down with injuries and return to the lineup, and they saw rookie starter Brandon Bielak go from looking like an ace to looking lost. The bullpen isn’t any more sorted out than it was before.

Springer finally showed signs of life in Saturday’s twin bill, and Jose Altuve is looking more like himself after a dreadful start. Brantley looked better as well, and Aledmys Diaz finally returned to the lineup after being out since Opening Day. All of these guys could stand a couple extra days of rest.

It gives players like Ryan Pressly and Martin Maldonado, who went above and beyond in the doubleheader, some well deserved time off, and it allows the team as a whole to take a brief step back and prepare itself for the final month of the regular season. There’s plenty at stake, and having a rested group heading into the stretch run is a nice advantage over some other teams.

It also gives GM James Click some time to work the phones and pursue potential trades without games taking place. Sure, we fans might like to see some baseball, but the Astros are going to be better off for having had this time to rest. Hopefully that means we’ll be rewarded in the end.

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