Comparing 2022 Houston Astros to other Golden Era teams

Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /
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Astros, Framber Valdez
Houston Astros, Framber Valdez (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

2020 Houston Astros: 29-31 (.483 Winning percentage)

Second place in AL West, eighth in the American League, 16th in all of baseball. 279 Runs Scored. 275 runs allowed. End of Season: Lost American League Championship Series in seven games to Tampa Bay Rays.

This is hard to compare considering the shortened season. Pro-rated to a 162 game season the Astros would have finished with 78 wins. But we all know a Major League baseball season is long. Just ask the 2019 Washington Nationals and the 2021 Atlanta Braves.

There’s no way to know if this team would have broken out of their early 2020 funk if they had played a full season.

But due to the circumstances of the pandemic shortened season and expanded playoff format they just made the cut as the second best team in their division, ending up making the playoffs and then making noise once they did.

They swept their best two out of three series against the Minnesota Twins which really seemed to turn the momentum of the season for the team as they were also reeling from all the blowback of the 2017 sign stealing scandal that had just been revealed earlier in the year.

Beating the Twins breathed life into the team as they then went on to dominate the Oakland A’s winning the ALDS in four games. They scored 33 runs across those four games, never scoring less than five runs in any one game.

This season also saw the emergence of Framber Valdez and Cristian Javier giving us glimpses into the future we now live in. Dusty Baker did a great job managing this team in crisis as he managed the postseason perfectly. His best decision came in a momentum shifting decision during the ALCS against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Zack Greinke was on the mound in the top of the sixth inning of game four with the Astros on the brink of elimination down 3-0. Baker came out to get the ball from Greinke with the bases loaded and two outs and the Astros clinging to a 4-2 lead. Martin Maldonado argued vehemently to let Greinke finish this inning assuring Baker that Greinke could get the next guy out. Dusty decided to roll with Greinke who struck out Mike Brosseau getting him to chase a changeup out of the zone on a 3-2 count.

If only AJ Hinch had that same confidence in game seven of the World Series the previous year.

Regardless this team was pitching almost exclusively rookies due to the free agent departures of Gerrit Cole, Charlie Morton and Dallas Keuchel plus the season ending injury to Justin Verlander. Offensively they also lost Yordan Alvarez for the year as well as their closer Roberto Osuna.

The fact they made it this far losing their Cy Young, Rookie of the Year and their closer not to mention pitching with Andre Scrubb, Josh James, Enoli Paredes and a bunch of other rookies is truly an accomplishment in and of itself.

This will probably go down as the least talented but guttiest team in the Golden Era. Prorated their offense would have only scored 753 runs while allowing 743. That 753 would be the lowest runs scored mark of any Golden Era team provided this year the team scores 50 more runs in their final eight games (which they very well may not since they would have to average 6.25 runs per game to do so) and the 743 would be the highest runs allowed of any Golden Era team.

In other words the 2022 Astros would wipe the floor with the 2020 team.