Astros News

Astros: there’s good news for slumping offense in wRC+

Jul 1, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (27) rounds the bases after hitting a grand slam during the fifth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 1, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (27) rounds the bases after hitting a grand slam during the fifth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports /
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I’m not breaking news when I tell you the Houston Astros are in an almost team wide slump, averaging a paltry 2.4 runs over their last seven games, being shut out in three of the last six and scoring only one run in two others.

During this streak the batting averages of the regulars outside of Kyle Tucker (.400) and Yuli Gurriel (.292)  look anemic:

Brantley…………….. .238

Altuve………………… .160

Toro……………………. .158

Maldonado………… .091

Alvarez……………….. .083

Straw…………………. .077

It’s not all bad news, especially when you take a 10,000 foot view of the season and realize slumps will come and go for every team.

One look at the Astros Weighted Runs Created + numbers will tell you runs are coming.

More from Climbing Tal's Hill

If you don’t know about the basic Runs Created metric, it estimates a player’s offensive contribution in terms of total runs by combining a player’s ability to get on base and hit for extra bases.

The cool thing about Runs Created + (wRC+) is that it takes the Runs Created metric and adjusts the number to account for other factors like ballparks, for example. It’s also adjusted, so a wRC+ of 100 is league average and 150 would be 50 percent above league average.

This makes it easier to compare player vs. player than just a raw number.  If you say someone is batting .280 you can deduce that’s “not bad”, but it’s difficult to measure where that stands compared to the rest of the league. We do know where Astros players stand compared to the rest of the league with the wRC+ because we know the league average is 100.

Given that background, let’s take a look where the Astros are in wRC+ as of today:

Correa……………………………145

Brantley………………………..143

Alvarez………………………….140

Gurriel…………………………..137

Altuve……………………………135

Tucker……………………………128

Bregman……………………….120

Straw……………………………..97

Toro………………………………..89

Maldonado…………………….59

Each night the Astros trot out a lineup where six (or seven when Bregman is healthy) of the nine players are at 20% or more above major league average and another is just below the league average. It’s indicative of a team that leads the league in runs scored, which the Astros do.

I can’t tell you the slump ends tonight, but I can tell you it will end and when it does the runs will come, likely in bunches. With six regulars at 128 wRC+ or more, the ball club won’t be held down forever.

Next. Is Pedro Leon a late-season call up?. dark

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