The postseason is nearing, so here are three keys for the Astros to succeed.
As the postseason is upon us, each game becomes vitally important and king makers for teams and players. With the Houston Astros strong finish there are key things they need to continue to keep their success in the postseason and get back to October glory.
Throughout the season Houston starters have been one of the best rotations in the MLB. Over the last six games the Astros starting pitchers and relievers have had one thing in common, six innings. The sixth inning is crucial for the team’s success.
To succeed the Astros starters must make it through five or more innings and ideally six or more. Over the last six games the Astros starters were 2-0 when pitching six full innings and for the season the Astros pitchers ERA in innings 4-6 is 4.22 as compared to innings 1-3 where they had a 3.06 ERA.
Six quality innings goes a long way and shortens the path to victory for the bullpen, so if the starters can make it through a quality six innings then Houston will be successful in October.
Now clearly if a team hits many home runs they will be successful but the Astros don’t need a ton of home runs to win but they are 3-0 in the last six in games when multiple home runs are hit. If the Astros can hit multiple home runs in the series they will add pressure to the other team and their odds of being successful go way up.
In their most recent six games they split 1-2 when hitting one or less home runs, truly showing the offense is solid but it relies on the long ball to get it done. Not only that, but the prior four-game losing streak was riddled with one or less home run games, the offense just couldn’t get it going. Look for the long ball in the October series to get the Astros going and the momentum on their side.
Late Inning Production
Throughout the last two series and Houston’s hot streak one thing rings true, the ball club drives in runs late. Every game might be close in the playoffs but when you can drive in runs in innings seven through nine like the Astros have, they will be in every game.
In particular the Astros are hitting .261 in the eighth inning and slugging .445 with 29 homers and 89 RBIs in the season. That is tied for their highest home run production inning. With all this said if the Astros can pull together these three aspects they will certainly be successful in October.