The best lineups in baseball have no holes, and the Houston Astros are about to plug the biggest hole in their lineup when Alex Bregman returns.
The Houston Astros lineup is beaten and battered by injuries, yet it’s still managing to rake, turning itself into arguably the best lineup in the American League. There have been unexpected highlights—Kyle Tucker‘s emergence and Martin Maldonado‘s RISP excellence.
Alex Bregman will look to continue his path to changing that when he returns to the lineup on the upcoming road trip. Dusty Baker indicated that Bregman was rehabbing nicely and could return to the lineup on this 10-day trip.
The only thing the Houston Astros need is Alex Bregman
Which is the last piece the Astros need to put this lineup together again.
As it stands, there really aren’t any holes in this Houston lineup. With guys like Carlos Correa and Yuli Gurriel filling out the bottom half of the order, there is still always an issue at the nine-hole. It’s often been filled by Jack Mayfield, who’s been on a minor tear recently while Abraham Toro continues to sputter.
More from Climbing Tal's Hill
- Just how much better is the Houston Astros playoff rotation than the rest?
- Houston Astros: A Lineup Change to Spark Offense
- Astros prospect Hunter Brown throws 6 shutout innings in debut
- Always faithful Astros World Series champion Josh Reddick defends the title
- Michael Conforto declines Astros’ 2-year, $30 million offer
It’s that gap at third base that has been damning of this offense, and it was the bottom of the order that helped propel the Astros to the World Series in 2017 and to their prolonged successes since then.
Factor Bregman back into the order and Maldonado can drop back down to No. 9 and be the secret weapon clean-up man.
For Bregman though, it’s incredible what he’s been able to do while he’s been out. Even with the prolonged absence, he’s still fifth on the team in WAR, third in home runs, second in OBP, fourth in slugging, so on and so forth. Basically, even with several weeks on the IL, he’s still one of our top five offensive performers. With Springer and Altuve struggling, Tucker, Correa, and Gurriel have become the standard-bearers.
Bregman tips the scale again. He’s our premier MVP candidate (if you don’t count Kyle Tucker) and with him back in the order, there are no more holes. The lineup is foolproof. Every spot can realistically expected to do damage.
It’s never a bad thing when Altuve and Springer are the weak links. For them, it’s just a matter of time before it clicks.