The Houston Astros went through some serious murky waters in early April. After a disastrous early road trip, our Astros came back home having lost 9 of 10 with a bench of key players missing time. It seemed like Oakland would never lose again and the division was slipping away quickly, then I remembered – it’s only April.
Just as the worries were piling up, Houston found their groove again. The Astros pummeled the Angels on YouTubeTV in route to winning three out of four in that series, followed by a nice series win over the Mariners.
Houston continued those winning ways out onto the road this past weekend, winning two out of three against the Rays in Tropicana Field, a place where Houston never seems to play well. Having now won 7 out of 10, Houston looks to be back into the mix for the AL West title with momentum pointing upward.
The Houston Astros, we all know and love, seem to be back.
The Astros offense is chugging right along, despite a recent drop off in power. Over the past 15 days, the Astros are 16th in team OPS and 7th in team batting average. However, Houston is only 29th in home runs during this period – (eight HRs in 13 games). The lack of Home Runs might just be a combination of guys missing time (Jose Altuve and Yordan Alvarez), guys in slumps (Kyle Tucker) and particular pitching matchups, but Houston should be able to raise their power levels with a long homestand coming up.
The key to the Astros getting back on track has been the turnaround with the pitching. Houston is third in WHIP and ERA over the past two weeks, and have not given up more than five runs over the past 10 games. The Astros are still in the top 10 in both ERA and WHIP during clutch time (seventh inning or later), which signals that our bullpen is shaping into form. This is encouraging considering the dumpster-fire start the bullpen showed us early on.
All in all, the Astros are riding the wave of steady momentum. If they can pick up the offensive power and maintain their pitching, Houston could really gain some ground on Oakland with this upcoming 10-game homestand.