This under-the-radar stat shows the Astros' slow start isn't as concerning as once believed

Everything is starting to come up Astros.
Houston Astros infielder Jose Altuve
Houston Astros infielder Jose Altuve / Tim Warner/GettyImages
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Baseball fans use statistics to prove or disprove a number of things. Batting average and runs batted in were among the most sought-after stats 50-plus years ago. Now the narrative has shifted to exit velocity, launch angle, and spin rate. Fans know what ERA and OPS are, and are slowly learning how to equate barrel rate and expected slugging percentage to success on the field.

If something is measurable, there's probably a statistic for it. But at the end of the day, the most important statistic is wins. Wins determine whether or not your favorite team makes it to the postseason, and ultimately has a chance to take home the Commissioner's Trophy in October.

There's an under-the-radar stat, involving wins, that most Houston Astros fans may want to become more acquainted with. It's rather meaningless in and of itself, but Houston's record against winning teams can certainly offer hope to those Astros fans who still don't believe a winning season is possible.

This under-the-radar stat shows the Astros' slow start isn't as concerning as once believed

The Astros have endured a rough start to the 2024 campaign. But has any team faced a more daunting task than Houston this season? Yes, the Chicago White Sox have, but they were going to be bad no matter who they played. Outside of the South Siders, no team in Major League Baseball has had a tougher schedule than the Astros.

Of the Astros 26 losses this season, 23 have come against teams with a winning record. The Astros' 12 wins against winning teams this season is tied with the Rangers for the most in the AL West, but Houston has played 13 more games against teams with a winning record than Texas has.

Astros fans knew this team had a tough schedule out of the gates, but few knew how difficult it would truly be. When you throw in the number of injuries incurred by the Astros starters, plus the heinous start to the season from Jose Abreu and (until recently) Alex Bregman, it's astounding that Houston is just five games out of first place in the AL West.

According to Tankathon.com, the worst part of the Astros season is now behind them. The remaining opponents on Houston's schedule have a combined winning percentage of just .480, meaning that the Astros are tied with the Milwaukee Brewers for the easiest strength of schedule remaining this season.

The Astros appear to be hitting their stride, while others in the AL West are enduring hardship. The Rangers are without a number of star players, the first-place Seattle Mariners have a meager run differential, and the Oakland A's are coming off losing eight straight. Things are starting to look up for the once-struggling Astros, and they're beginning to pile up wins.

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