Houston Astros: World Series Preview Against Atlanta Braves
The Astros have the better offense this postseason by the numbers.
The Astros lead the Major Leagues in runs, hits, batting average, on-base percentage and were third in slugging while striking out the second least in the entire MLB. The Braves conversely relied primarily on their slugging and that trend has continued in the playoffs.
During the regular season, the Braves hit 239 home runs which was good for third in all of MLB. They only scored 790 runs, which puts them at eighth overall. Not a terrible number obviously, but it does show how reliant they are on the long ball, especially considering their regular season batting average was .244.
This was right at the league average putting them in 15th place. Even worse are their strikeouts which were below league average at 20th with 1453 (by comparison the Astros struck out 1222 times.)
This postseason has been more of the same for Atlanta, as 50 percent of their runs have come via the home run. Twenty of their 40 runs scored this postseason have been from the long ball, and it has sometimes been the only difference in the game.
In Game 3 of the NLDS against the Milwaukee Brewers, a pinch-hit three-run jack by Joc “Pearls” Pederson proved to be the only difference in an otherwise pitching dominated game.
On the flip side, the Astros do not have a one pronged attack as evidenced by the fact that in the regular season they lead the league in runs with 863 yet finished with 18 fewer home runs than the Braves during the regular season at 221.
And just like the Braves, the Astros offense is winning the exact same way it did in the regular season. Despite the fact the Braves and Astros have played the same amount of games in the postseason, the Astros have scored 27 more runs than the Braves (67 to 40 is the total tally).
Yet, the Astros only have one home run more than the Braves showing off their offensive versatility. This ability to score without going deep was on full display in their momentum swinging win in game four of the ALCS.
During their ninth inning rally against the Red Sox, the Astros scored eight runs with two outs. None of those RBIs came from hitting it over the fence. In fact, the Astros only had two extra-base hits in that inning.
The Carlos Correa double and Michael Brantley’s three-run double started it all. Five of their runs came on hard-hit singles, which of course is what makes this offense superior to everyone else’s. They don’t strikeout, and they make hard contact.
I don’t even think Braves fans would disagree that the Astros offense is superior to the Braves in this series, and while Eddie Rosario is arguably the hottest hitter on the planet, the Astros have proven they can send someone on a cold streak as they did with Kike Hernandez in the previous series.
Probably the most telling number of this post season that shows the Astros distinct advantage is that the Braves have scored more than five runs once in their 10 postseason games. The Astros have scored less than five runs once in their 10 postseason games.
And while playing with a designated hitter and not having a pitcher occasionally hitting can account for some of that disparity, the Astros still are clearly the better offense.