The Houston Astros have been the best team in June across all of MLB. From having the best offensive production to the best record in the American League, it makes sense to see a few names at the top of the All-Star Game voting.
The team finished their hectic four-game series with the Detroit Tigers on Sunday with another series not lost for the month of June. The Astros haven’t lost a series since their three-game set with the San Diego Padres to end their May of baseball.
With Jake Odorizzi pitching with more confidence but also an irritated finger, he is carving up more lower-end teams, but it helps in the statistic column. Chas McCormick took the reins in left field for Michael Brantley, while Myles Straw snuck into the two-hole. This team continues to show depth, but also a “no sweat” mentality with the ability to adjust any given day.
With Phase 1 coming to an end, seven Astros are moving onto Phase 2, which starts on Monday, so where do these players stand?
Among the designated hitters, Yordan Alvarez stands third with Shohei Ohtani and J.D. Martinez ahead of him, which is a hard set of sluggers to pass up. Ohtani is well-liked among all fans across the league for his unbelievable talent in the box and off the rubber, while Martinez has been a known power hitter since he was let go by the Astros. In years past, only two designated hitters have been selected, so Alvarez would most likely make it upon a managerial selection as his numbers are neck-and-neck with that of Martinez.
Behind the dish, Martin Maldonado stands second among catchers, and in my opinion, he is either making it as a starter or not making it at all. Salvador Perez and Yasmani Grandal are both having better campaigns at the plate, while defense has always favored Maldonado. Two catchers have been selected in years past.
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
In the infield, Yuli Gurriel, Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman all stand at second place at their respective positions. Among the three, Gurriel and Altuve should make the team as reserves, while Bregman’s injury will keep him out of the festivities this year. At shortstop, Carlos Correa stands in third behind Xander Bogaerts and Bo Bichette. These three are the best at the position in the AL and should all make it in some sort.
Looking to the outfield grass, Michael Brantley is the only Astros among the top nine outfielders. While standing at fourth in votes, two injured players (Mike Trout and Byron Buxton) stand in front of the left-hander. No-matter the outcomes of votes, these two will have to be replaced on the roster and the lineup. Brantley did battle the injury bug, but since his return, he has been the hottest player in baseball.
Phase 2 kicks off on Monday and will conclude on Thursday. Possible opportunities to vote will be limited for fans, but this helps secure the starters for both leagues. Other selections including pitchers will be settled by managers.
The Astros are back on the field on Monday at 7:10 p.m. at home to open a three-game series with the Baltimore Orioles. Zack Greinke matches up against right-hander Thomas Eshelman, who surrendered six runs over four innings against Houston last week.