Houston Astros Defense: B+
Finally, we come to the Astros' defense and it has been a bit off a mixed bag to be sure. Overall, the Astros rank sixth in Fangraph's defensive rating which is really strong. However, some of the other defensive metrics don't like them quite as well. If you look at Outs Above Average for the squad, Houston has 8 on the season which is good for a three way tie for eighth in the league. Still pretty good, but way off what the Padres (23), Rangers (16), and Brewers (16) have done in 2023.
The problem here, though, is that the defense has basically been a one man show for the Astros. Jake Meyers has personally accounted for 7 Outs Above Average this season and is far an away the leader in FG defensive rating on the team. Jeremy Pena, Mauricio Dubon, and Alex Bregman have also been some defensive bright spots. Unfortunately, Jose Altuve, Martin Maldonado, Yordan Alvarez, Kyle Tucker, and Jose Abreu have all hurt more than they have helped defensively this season.
We don't want to discount the overall production which is why we went with a B+ grade, but the lack of defensive depth this season is pretty concerning. When the Astros have to play a guy who sports a 95 wRC+ and .225 batting average this season and was worse last year in Meyers to get a true plus defender on the field, that isn't great. If/when Houston adds an outfield bat at the deadline, hopefully they can defend a bit as well.