The Astros offense finally started clicking the last two nights. But that has not been the case all season. As it stands the Astros are 6-4 and sit half a game behind the Los Angeles Angels in the AL west. We are going to take a look at some offensive numbers to piggy back off of yesterday’s article regarding the Starting rotation.
We will start with the standard statistics because that is what most will understand before breaking it down further with the advanced statistics that are starting to become more widely used amongst the brains in baseball.
Prior to the last two games, the offense looked to be struggling, so first let’s look at the stats prior to their outing night.
Standard batting statistics (through first eight games):
#18 BA: .232
#1 GDP: 14
#24 RBI: 21
#26 Runs: 21
#20 OBP: .308
#20 SLG: .380
#20 OPS: .686
As you can see, these numbers were not great. To dig a little bit deeper into this I am going to write and explain some more advanced statistics as I did with the starting pitching.
wOBA- Weighted On Base Average- This is measured a lot like OBP but a little bit deeper. It takes into account non intentional walks and HBP. It gives a better overall measure of a hitter’s plate appearances. The Astros ranked 21st in this category at .301 before last night
wRC+- Weighted Runs Created Plus: This statistic gives a league average of 100. It incorporates everything including base running value. It also takes into account the value of playing in different parks. The Astros ranked 14th in this category at 100, which simply means they were average during the first eight games.
You can dig deep into statistics all day, but to put it simply, the Astros starting pitching has been very good and the lineup has been either average or below average on any given day.
It is important to note that the last two games were an example of what Jeff Lunhow envisioned his offense being when he assembled this roster. So, what did games and their offensive explosions of 30 hits and 17 runs do to these numbers?
Including the last two games (first 10 games of the season):
#7 BA: .266 (-11)
#1 GDP: 17 (even)
#11 RBI: 37 (-13)
#12 Runs: 38 (-14)
#7 OBP: .337 (-13)
#16 SLG: .404 (-4)
#11 OPS: .741 (-9)
#11 wOBA: .322 (-10)
#5 wRC+: 115 (-9)
If you want to read more into some of these advanced statistics I highly recommend checking out www.fangraphs.com, they have detailed explanations of each category with their formulas that would take much longer for me to explain than I would like to here.
As stated above, the lineup clicked the last two nights exactly how it is supposed to more often than not and the results showed.
Regardless of the slow start, the last two games have shown what this lineup is capable of and we should continue to see these numbers creep back up to the top five in most categories as the season continues.
What does all of this mean?
It is a long season and we have only just begun. Expect the offense to start clicking more and pulling out of this slump.
Jose Altuve is having an extremely slow start to the season, and as he goes the Astros go. There is no reason to expect him to continue this slump. In Altuve’s last four games he is batting .467.
Through the first five games of the season, Altuve went 3/21 with a .142 average and eight strikeouts. Since that slow start, he has gone 8/19 with a .421 average and only 1 strikeout. So, for those of you concerned with Altuve's production in 2017, it's about time to move on.
Alex Bregman’s batting average is climbing and he has hit .263 in his last four games.
Carlos Correa is batting .368 in his last four games.
Carlos Beltran is batting .388 in his last four games.
Yuli Gurriel is batting .467 in his last four games.
George Springer is on pace to hit nearly 90 homeruns with 162 RBIs… okay that probably won’t happen. The point Is, the Astros key pieces are finally clicking the way it was envisioned.
So with all of this I suggest to you, kick back, relax and enjoy the next 152 games. We are going to have ups and down, there will be loses along the way. However, If this lineup can fire on all cylinders and pick up the starters and bullpen when needed, it is going to be a fun ride.