Houston Astros: Who’s Hot, Who’s Not — Volume 2

Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports /
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Houston Astros, Framber Valdez, Jose Altuve
Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /

Jose Altuve

Altuve is hitting .327 (33-for-101) with a 1.012 OPS, nine home runs and 13 RBI. He’s put together some long ball performances and a few multi-hit games to get this offense going.

However, this selection is almost by default. No one else in the lineup has been raking at the plate. Alvarez posted a .918 OPS in May, but he had an up-and-down month for his standards. No one else posted an OPS above .780 during that time.

Indications early in the season were that Altuve was hesitant to be in the lead-off position. But he sure is doing his best George Springer impersonation for a lineup that desperately needs the momentum.

Framber Valdez

Framber really came on in last 30 days. The southpaw is 4-0 in his last four starts with a stingy 1.96 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP. Opponents hit .228 against him during that time, with many of the hits being weak contact singles. Valdez recently threw a complete game 2-hit gem against the A’s, and prior to that went 7+ innings in his last three starts.

What’s most impressive about this run is his walk rate has plummeted below 7%, indicating that he is finding his spots with his curveball and cutter. He’s getting a ton of weak contact and whiffs with fewer and fewer erratic throws. This is the version of Valdez fans want to see all the time.