Astros: 4 Key Stats for Astros vs. Braves World Series
By Paul Conlon
Four key stats help size up the Astros and Braves heading into the 2021 World Series. Read on for more!
Like old hat, the Houston Astros will appear in their third World Series in five seasons. Meanwhile, the World Series-bound Atlanta Braves ran away with the National League East pennant, finishing nearly seven games above the Phillies.
Silently rising, Atlanta ended the ’21 season with only the fifth highest winning percentage in the NL, and only the 12th best winning percentage in the majors. They weren’t supposed to be here. But they are. Baseball—what a beautiful, but unpredictable game.
How do the American League champion Houston Astros stack up against their old National League rival heading into the World Series?
1) Team home runs
Atlanta finished third in the majors in home run production with 239 long balls on the season. Austin Riley, Freddie Freeman, and Ozzie Albies represent the three Atlanta batters to have hit at least 30 homers during 2021, and combined for 94 round-trippers.
Interestingly, exactly three Astros hitters, Yordan Alvarez, Jose Altuve, and Kyle Tucker, also finished with at least 30 homers, combining for a total of 94. Is this is a coincidence? Or do both teams’ power numbers evenly match up for this World Series?
To provide an answer, while Houston accomplished ranking ninth in the majors in home production with 221 jacks on the season, the Braves hit nearly twenty more than the Astros. Furthermore, Atlanta proved more efficient at producing home runs than the Astros, averaging a round-tripper in nearly four percent of all plate appearances.
2) Team runs batted in
Houston finished first in the majors during the ’21 season with 834 runs batted in. Meanwhile, Atlanta finished seventh in the majors with 762 RBI. Both teams appear more than dangerous at the plate. But Houston features slightly more depth with five players to have earned at least 80 RBI on the season to Atlanta’s four.
3) Team on-base percentage
Atlanta finished 12th in the majors with a .319 on-base percentage, featuring impressive .390-plus finishes by Ronald Acuña Jr., and Freddie Freeman.
The Astros featured only one player to achieve even a .380-plus OBP in Yuli Gurriel. However, there’s more to the story. Houston’s lineup—through a team effort of above average individual contributions from multiple players—achieved the highest OBP in the majors, reaching base at a .339 clip.
4) Team batting average
Houston’s .267 team batting average led every other club in the majors. Contributing to Houston’s batting average success, the Astros also led the majors in hits, achieving over 40 more than the Blue Jays, who finished in second place.
During the regular season, Atlanta ranked better than only 17 other MLB clubs with a .244 team batting average. Nevertheless, the Braves found their way to the World Series in part due to clutch hitting and extra-base hit firepower.
2021 World Series Prediction
Outside of home run production, Atlanta’s offense may not appear as talented on paper, but the Braves are not to be underestimated. After all, Atlanta found a way to eliminate an extremely talented Dodgers squad, winners of the previous year’s World Series. While the Astros’ offense edges out the Braves, look for Houston to squeak by in at least five games.