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Old 06-06-2019, 05:48 PM   #1
SirGreatWhite
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My 1st OOTP Dynasty - Houston Astros

As a new member to the OOTP community and newbie to the OOTP franchise I'm going to start my first franchise/dynasty mode with the Houston Astros. It's not as much of a challenge compared to the Marlins, White Sox, Blue Jays, Tigers, Royals, etc... but I am a long time Astros fan ever since my dad and I first went to games in the Astrodome back in the early 90's - I also live in Texas and they are the closest pro baseball team to where I live. So this is going to be my first attempt; I'll probably try a more challenging one once I get the hang of things.

Overview: The Astros have one of the best lineups in all of baseball and as good of a 1-2 punch at the top of their rotation as one could want with Verlander & Cole. Their bullpen has also been stellar the last couple of seasons. Their core position players are in or entering their primes (Springer, Altuve, Bregman, Correa); and finally, most farm system rankings out there have their farm system in the top 10 in all of baseball - some even rank them near the top 5. So with all of that, they are already equipped to make a serious run of success for several years.

My goal is to keep that momentum going while trying to maintain a top notch farm system for depth purposes. While the Astros aren't penny pinchers (recently) when it comes to money or market size, they certainly don't have the spending luxuries of a Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs, or Dodgers market. Eventually, tough contract decisions will have to be made with so many quality players coming close to free agency and end of arbitration years. When the time comes, we will need to use the quality depth and continue to develop the minor league talent already in place as well as draft well, make smart international signings, and make trades for quality prospects when necessary.

More to come...
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Old 06-06-2019, 08:22 PM   #2
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Before I post this first update, just wanted to say that I started this last weekend (6/1/19) so I have almost one week of experience and work put in with it...hence why I am approximately 50 games into the season.

So far so... average. Took the Astros 48 games to finally get to .500 (24-24) despite being mostly healthy for most of that stretch of the season. Thankfully the AL West is not very good. Verlander has been awesome. Cole was equally awesome (led league in K/9 for 5 starts) then got hurt and is going to miss 3-4 months. If we make the playoffs, he'll have a chance to be back for the playoffs barring any setbacks from the injury.

McHugh was doing awful to start the year, but Peacock was holding his own...then he got hurt and will miss 2 months. McHugh also missed 2 weeks but in his 3 starts since returning he has been solid. And Wade Miley has been really bad (ERA is 7.00+). So we've been having to patch the rotation lately with all the injuries. Hopefully McHugh stays healthy and in recent form and Peacock comes back close to what he was playing like before the injury. Regarding the 5th starter...might have to make a trade deadline splash for a lefty starter (or above average right hander as a possible #3 / #4 starter.

The bullpen has been average at best. Osuna has been lights out as a closer and Pressly has been equally impressive as a setup man. They are currently leading the All Star voting for relievers. The problem everyone else (Rondon, Harris, Valdez, & James) and anyone else we've put in all have 5-6+ ERA's. Definitely expected better from Rondon. So I made the push to sign Craig Kimbrel and got into a bidding war that ended up costing close to $12 million for 1 year. Hopefully he will settle in and sure up things.

Currently 26-25 and a 1.5 game lead on the Angels for 1st place in the AL West. The Red Sox and Indians have the best records overall at 32-17...we did just sweep the Red Sox @ Fenway during our recent push to get to .500+

I will post the early season trades that have been made in next post...
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Old 06-06-2019, 09:01 PM   #3
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Transactions:

3/21/19 - Traded 1B/DH Tyler White, minor league pitcher Riley Cabral to the Cleveland Indians for 1B prospect Jake Bauers. I was a little surprised at this since Bauers is a decent prospect with pretty good in-game ratings and is 4-5 years younger than White. The pitching prospect we put in was a throw-in...nothing special. Bauers is a good long-term investment that can be a backup at the MLB level right now while one of the top prospects (Yordan Alvarez) continues to develop in AA/AAA. Current 1B Yuli Gurriel is 34 and has 1 more year on his contract through 2020.

3/21/19 - Traded reliever Chris Devenski, pitching prospect Jose Luis Hernandez, and cash to the Boston Red Sox for pitching prospect Durbin Feltman, pitching prospect Jay Groome, and infield prospect Antoni Flores. Similar to the Tyler White trade...I was surprised to get these quality of prospects for a decent relief pitcher and an average prospect. Then again, the Red Sox had a red dot rating in their relief rankings at the trade screen. And they are also in "build a dynasty" mode. So maybe they were willing to overpay for an average reliever to help their bullpen? Devenski was going to be our #4 or #5 reliever at best this year. Saying that now, after knowing how poorly the bullpen has performed though makes me question this in hindsight.

4/22/19 - Traded AAA 1B prospect AJ Reed, minor league CF AJ Meyers, and minor league pitcher Jose Alberto Rivera to the Cleveland Indians for 3B prospect Nolan Jones. AJ Reed is a decent prospect to lose on our end, but we have Yordan Alvarez in AA (soon to be moving up to AAA). Jones is a good long term prospect in case Carlos Correa isn't resigned in 3 years and we move Bregman to SS position. A good long-term investment.

5/2/19 - Traded RHP prospect Kyle Serrano to San Diego for Catching prospect Luis Torrens. By far the worst position in the Astros system (both MLB and minor league levels) is Catcher. Hopefully adding Torrens gives a decent prospect to have as a possible backup at MLB level next year. He currently is in AA. He has a full year of big league experience with San Diego as a former Rule 5 draftee.

5/16/19 - Traded utility man (and fan favorite) Tony Kemp, pitching prospect Brandon Bielak, RHP minor leaguer Misael Tamarez, and minor league Catcher Lorenzo Quintana and cash (most of Kemp's remaining salary) to the St. Louis Cardinals for pitching prospect Alex Reyes and minor league Catcher prospect Andrew Knizer!!! This is a slam dunk of a trade on our end. Kemp is a super-sub that can play several positions and be servicable, but not a long term answer anywhere. Knizer is a pretty solid catching prospect to boost our depth at that position and compete with Torrens for a possible roster spot next season. Reyes has tons of potential if he can improve his command. The Cardinals are in "win now" mode and had quality depth at catcher in their minor leagues. They also had some injuries to their position players which makes me think they were more likely to take Kemp and Bielak (who is a good pitching prospect in his own right). But this trade could be a game changer if Reyes develops to maximize his potential to go along with our #1 pitching prospect Forrest Whitley for the future of the Astros!

One of the owner goals was to sign McHugh to an extension. Wasn't 100% committed to that but figured I likely won't be able to afford Cole in offseason along with upcoming extensions needed for Springer & Correa in near future that we need to plan for. So I signed McHugh to a 3 year extension that decreases value each year and has a player option after year 1 and team option after year 2. So at least it's team friendly.

Will play/sim a few more games tonight and update...
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Old 06-06-2019, 10:26 PM   #4
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Just signed Carlos Correa to an 8 year extension! Bought/Paid his last two years remaining of arbitration and added 6 years on top. The last two years have a player option and a team option respectively.

2020 - $8,150,000 (arbitration estimate was $8,000,000)
2021 - $16,310,000 (arbitration estimate approx. $16,000,000)
2022 - $26,630,000
2023 - $26,630,000
2024 - $25,630,000
2025 - $25,630,000
(can opt out of the 2025 season)
2026 - $24,630,000
(player option for 2026)
2027 - $24,630,000
(team option for 2027)

Probably couldn't have gotten him for this type of extension after his last two years of arbitration when he would have hit free agency... especially because in real life his agent is Scott Boras ��
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Old 06-07-2019, 12:20 AM   #5
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Just because the Astros are good doesn't mean that it's not a challenge. You got to keep those World Series rings coming for Houston. Good luck
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Old 06-07-2019, 01:11 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nymetsfan5 View Post
Just because the Astros are good doesn't mean that it's not a challenge. You got to keep those World Series rings coming for Houston. Good luck
Appreciate it! It's been fun so far; and definitely challenging! I'm enjoying the challenge though.
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Old 06-07-2019, 01:40 AM   #7
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Update:

It's May 31, 2019 and the Astros are currently 29-28 overall and hold a 1.5 game lead ahead of the Angels for 1st place in the AL West. The Red Sox, Indians, and Braves lead MLB with 35 wins each. After a 12-18 record in March-April, the Astros are 17-10 in May with 1 more game left in the month.

The lineup has really picked up the pace lately. Bregman and Altuve are carrying the team offensively - both tied for the team lead in home runs w/ 8 apiece. Springer, after an awful month of April, has started to come on strong in May. Correa has been the opposite of Springer - tore it up at the beginning of the season only to have a dreadful May - yet he still leads the team in RBI's w/ 48. Myles Straw has been a nice spark plug since being called up from AAA after Tony Kemp was traded on 5/16/19. He's been filling in for the role that Tony Kemp played to give guys days off. Straw had been splitting time in AAA between outfield (mostly CF) and Shortstop. He does have limited experience at 2B also. So between he and Aledmys Diaz we have guys that can play almost every position on the field (except catcher) for rest days when needed.

Verlander continues to dominate with an 8-2 record in 12 starts. He has a 2.56 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, and 84 strikeouts. His K/9 innings has dropped recently. It was near 11 earlier in the year but is now at 8.6

The addition of Kimbrel has also helped the bullpen. On days when we have to pull starters earlier than we'd like due to high pitch counts or getting rocked by the opponent, our middle relievers and long relievers aren't very good. But the trio of Kimbrel (2.59 ERA; 16.3 K/9), Pressly (1.46 ERA; 13.9 K/9), and Osuna (0.82 ERA; 11/11 saves; 13.9 K/9) is as good of a trio for late inning games as there is in the MLB.

We could really use a solid #2 or #3 type of arm as well since Cole will be out until beginning of October and Lance McCullers is out for the season recovering from Tommy John surgery. As stated before, if McHugh can maintain his current form (3 earned runs or less allowed in 4 of last 5 starts) and Peacock comes off the injured list in 12 days and comes back in the form he had before (2.35 ERA in 4 starts) then maybe we will be able to right the ship with the rotation and not have to acquire an arm.

I've really been trying to make a deal for a major league level catcher because we are getting a combined average of 0.1 - 0.2 WAR production from our two catchers (Chirinos & Stassi) right now. Pittsburgh has expressed interest in being willing to part ways with Francisco Cervelli. He is a free agent at the end of the year and is 33 years old, so it probably won't take a major prospect or two to acquire him. Will look further into it.
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Old 06-07-2019, 08:37 PM   #8
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Played the games until MLB Draft Day (6/4/19)!

Currently 32-29 and finally made it more than 1 game over .500 for the first time this year! Astros hold a 3 game lead over the A's. We just took 2 of 3 from Oakland on the road and should have swept them, but the usually lights out Ryan Pressly walked 2 and gave up 2 hits to blow a game in extra innings. Oh well, it happens. Bounced back with a dominating complete game (1 run allowed - unearned) by Justin Verlander in a 5-1 win in the series opener against Seattle on the road. Would be nice to win 3 of 4 there (or sweep!) to create a little more separation from the rest of the AL West.

Unfortunately, Brad Peacock was supposed to come back in 1 week during our next home stand, but unfortunately suffered a setback w/ his rotator cuff strain injury and will miss additional time. No timetable has been set on a possible return now. Reliever Will Harris came back after a 10 day stint on the IL.

I've never gone through the MLB draft before - on this game or any, but I am looking forward to it. I have an idea on how the draft negotiations work regarding slot value, etc. But I'd be happy and grateful for any and all suggestions, tips, advice, and help is greatly appreciated! I will be back on late tonight to see any feedback left and go from there. Thanks in advance!

*P.S. - this game is addicting!
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Old 06-08-2019, 03:30 PM   #9
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Everyone will have their own drafting strategy, but I like to focus on always grabbing the best available guy. If you trust your scout, be willing to spend money on guys he likes. In the later rounds I like to take guys who either have high work ethic, intelligence, or leadership, or guys where one tool looks really good, especially defense/versatility. A lot of times you'll get guys who have really good defensive ratings eventually develop decent offensive ratings, and they turn into late round steals. Same thing can happen with high stuff relievers who you can grab in later rounds that eventually develop better movement and stuff.
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Old 06-11-2019, 03:28 PM   #10
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The draft has come and gone. If we are able to sign all of them - and that's a BIG if - then this draft class has a chance to be loaded, barring injuries of course. The potential is definitely there to have quality arms and versatile every day players up and down the organization, something we are coveting to increase depth and options at all levels.

Round by round selections:

1st - George Kirby - RHP - Elon - 21
2nd - Jordan Brewer - OF - Michigan - 21
3rd - Ryan Jensen - RHP - Fresno State - 21
4th - Korey Lee - C - California - 20
5th - Seth Johnson - RHP - Campbell - 20
6th - Josh Wolf - RHP - St. Thomas HS (TX) - 18
7th - Matt Canterino - RHP - Rice - 21
8th - Chris Newell - OF - Malvern Prep (Penn.) - 18
9th - Antoine Kelly - LHP - Wabash Valley CC (Illinois) - 19
10th - Tanner Morris - SS/3B - Virginia - 21
11th - Isaiah Campbell - RHP - Arkansas - 21
12th - Davis Wendzel - 3B/INF/UTIL - Baylor - 22
13th - Ethan Small - LHP - Mississippi State - 22
14th - Jake Sanford - OF - Western Kentucky - 21
15th - Nathan Hickey - C - Providence HS (Florida) - 19
16th - Dasan Brown - OF - Canada - 17
17th - Alec Marsh - RHP - Arizona State - 21
18th - Bryant Packard - OF - East Carolina - 21
19th - Brandon Lewis - 3B/1B - UC Irvine - 20
20th - Andrew Dalquist - RHP - Redondo Union HS (Cal) - 18
21st - TJ Sikkema - LHP - Missouri - 20
22nd - Ryan Pepiot - RHP - Butler - 21
23rd - Ryan Kreidler - SS/3B - UCLA - 21
24th - Gavin Collyer - RHP - Mountain View HS (Georgia) - 18
25th - Matthew Barefoot - OF - Campbell - 21
26th - Jack Little - RHP - Stanford - 21
27th - Seth Gray - 3B - Wright State - 20
28th - Michael McAvene - RHP - Louisville - 21
29th - Quin Cotton - OF - Grand Canyon - 21
30th - Billy Seidl - RHP - St. Sebasatian's Country Day (Mass.) - 19
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Old 06-11-2019, 08:04 PM   #11
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Update:

It's now 6/11/19 and The Astros currently are 35-32 and have a 3.5 game lead over the A's for 1st place in the AL West.

The draft was a huge success despite still not signing 3 of the picks: 5th rounder Seth Johnson is still going back and forth with our initial offer! 26th rounder Jack Little and 30th rounder Billy Seidl are both "impossible" to sign and won't be accepting our offers. Seidl seemed like a steal in the 30th round because both the OSA ratings and my scout ratings had his potential at 3 stars and his fastball and sliders both with 70-75 potential on the ratings scale. Hopefully we can try and snag him in a future draft.

We are still working on upgrading the catching position. We've made two offers to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Francisco Cervelli. The most recent one we dropped the salary retain percentage we're asking the Pirates to cover and added a minor league catching prospect (in addition to the starting & relief pitchers already in the deal). If we're able to work it out, based on performance so far this season, it's likely that Robinson Chirinos would be DFA'd and we'd search for a trade partner. Max Stassi is and has been the better defensive catcher between them and has surprisingly been the better hitting catcher of the two. And I use the term "better hitting" very loosely there. (BA of .234 to .197; both have 3 home runs; Stassi's OBP is .324 compared to .290 of Chirinos). Cervelli would be a significant upgrade in terms of hitting and Stassi can be a defensive-minded backup catcher for us and still get regular at bats like he has been. I've been playing Chirinos 3 of 5 games and Stassi about 2 of 5 games.

Up next is a 2 game series with the Brewers in a possible World Series previewl; followed by a 3 game series with the Blue Jays to conclude an 8 game homestand before hitting the road for the next couple of series.
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Old 06-13-2019, 05:08 PM   #12
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TRADE!

The Houston Astros and Pittsburgh Pirates have finally agreed to a trade involving Catcher Francisco Cervelli. The back and forth discussions had been going on for over 2 weeks, with the biggest hiccup being how much of the remaining 2019 salary the Pirates would cover. The Astros initially wanted the Pirates to cover 75% of the remaining salary.

With the Astros clearly needing some help at Catcher at the MLB level due to poor offensive production from Robinson Chirinos & Max Stassi, the Astros dropped their salary retention demands of the Pirates and agreed to send 4 pitchers plus one of their better minor league catcher prospects in exchange for Cervelli.

Here are the details:

Astros receive:
C - Francisco Cervelli (.253 AVG, .363 OBP, .681 OPS, 1.4 WAR)
*Pirates will cover 50% of the remaining salary for Cervelli this season.

Pirates receive:
Catcher Jamie Ritchie - alternating between AA & AAA levels this season (.281 AVG, .404 OBP, .794 OPS, 28/16 BB to K ratio)
RHP Jacob Billingsley - currently in A level (4.58 ERA in 12 starts)
RHP Cody Deason - currently in A- level (6.00 ERA in 7 appearances - 6 starts)
RHP Lupe Chavez - currently in A+ level (6.07 ERA in 17 appearances - 9 starts)
RHP Jose Bravo - currently in A level (2.45 ERA in 10 relief appearances)

Of the prospects going to the Pirates, Bravo and Ritchie are the pieces that have potential down the road to make the big leagues. Ritchie could even be their backup catcher right away or stay in AAA the rest of this season. Bravo definitely is a couple of years away, but he's only 22 years old and has decent stuff in his repertoire. Cervelli is by no means an all-star, but he is an upgrade compared to the current production we are getting out of our catchers.

We will designate Robinson Chirinos for assignment and try to find a trade partner in the mean time.
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Old 06-13-2019, 06:23 PM   #13
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After completing the trade with Pittsburgh for Francisco Cervelli, the Astros have dealt starting catcher Robinson Chirinos to the Seattle Mariners. It's not too common for inter-division teams to make trades, but the offer was compelling enough.

The Mariners have a similar struggling situation with their MLB catcher production. So they're hoping that a change of scenery for Robinson Chirinos might spark something.

The Astros retained 100% of Chirinos' remaining salary for the 2019 season. In addition to Chirinos the Astros sent minor league outfielders Jonathan Lacroix (A level: .343 AVG, .402 OBP, .524 SLG, .926 OPS, 9 HR, 48 RBI, 3 SB) and Bryan De La Cruz (A+ level: .253 AVG, .324 OBP, .391 SLG, .715 OPS, 5 HR, 25 RBI, 3 SB).

In return the Astros get international prospect outfielder Julio Rodriguez. At just 18 years old he has plenty of potential and projects to be a major league player one day. They also get minor league reliever Joey Gerber. Gerber has good stuff, but has had control issues this year. If he can refine the control he could be a useful reliever (6th-7th inning type) in a couple of years.
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Old 06-14-2019, 10:41 PM   #14
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As we enter July and the international signing period, the Astros are 44-41 and are only a 1/2 game ahead of the Oakland A's. The A's went on a tear in the middle of June, winning 12 out of 14 including 10 in a row at one point. They briefly took a 1.5 game lead for first place. Fortunately for the Astros, the A's lost 3 in a row to the Angels to close out the month of June. Oakland is currently 44-42.

The Astros have a quick 2 game interleague series at Colorado followed by a day off and then a 3 game series at home vs. the Angels to wrap up before the All Star break.

As of now it appears Jose Altuve, Michael Brantley and Justin Verlander will be likely starters for the AL All Star team while Alex Bregman, Roberto Osuna, and Ryan Pressly will also make the roster as backups and relievers. In most years Josh Reddick would probably be in the running for an All Star roster spot with his .323/.377/.507/.883/9 HR/47 RBI stat line, but there have been some great first half performances by AL outfielders.

The Astros rank in the top 4 in every American League offensive category except home runs (9th). And that is despite subpar hitting by George Springer (.243/.319/.399/9 HR/34 RBI) and Carlos Correa (.235/.328/.394/10 HR). Despite Correa's average and fairly low slugging percentage, he is second in the AL with 71 RBI's. Also to keep in mind, George Springer had an absolutely awful month of April to start the season, so he's definitely hitting better in May-June than his stat line shows - hopefully that trend continues.

Altuve and Bregman have both been on a tear recently, including Altuve being named the AL player of the month for the month of June.

Verlander (12-3, 2.79 ERA, 125 K's) is our team MVP at the moment because our starting pitching has been dreadful - mostly injury related. Wade Miley was our #4/#5 starter to begin the year and has recently been demoted to the bullpen in favor of LHP Framber Valdez. Gerrit Cole is still out for another 2-3 months with shoulder issues and has been out since 5/14/19. Colin McHugh & Brad Peacock (our #3 & #4 starters) have been taking turns on the injured list, but both are currently healthy.

The bullpen currently ranks third in the AL, but I feel it's overrated at the moment because Ryan Pressly and Roberto Osuna have such great stats. Craig Kimbrel has been rocked in a couple of recent outings and definitely seems to not have as much control of his pitches recently that have led to several guys getting on base. Hopefully that changes. Maybe the All Star break will do us some good.
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Old 06-15-2019, 04:44 PM   #15
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At the All Star break the Astros sit tied atop the AL West division with the Oakland A's.

The Astros are sending 6 players to the All Star game, including 4 starters (SP Verlander, 2B Altuve, 3B Bregman, & LF Brantley). In addition to those 4, the Astros are sending closer Roberto Osuna and RP Ryan Pressly.

Altuve is a possible AL MVP candidate with his .343 AVG (3rd), .411 OBP (5th), .540 SLG (3rd), .951 OPS (3rd), 5 triples (3rd), 4.5 WAR (5th), 125 hits (2nd), and 78 runs scored (2nd).

Notable trades around the league:

The Tampa Bay Rays have made two separate trades with the Yankees & Giants respectively, acquiring both Mike Stanton AND Madison Bumgarner! They currently sit 3rd in the AL East - 11.5 games behind the Red Sox and 2.5 games out of the second wild card spot.
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Old 06-16-2019, 12:06 PM   #16
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International Signing!

The Astros have signed on of top, if not THE top, international free agent: 16 year old Venezuelan outfielder (CF) Pacho Olivas. The Astros used all $5 million of their international pool money to sign Olivas. He was the first and only name on their international free agent board. Scouts say Olivas is a true 5-tool player with tons of raw power in his 6'1, 170 pound frame. He will only add to that power as he matures. The Astros' plan for him is to remain with their international development team for the remainder of this season and then start him out in rookie ball next year. It wouldn't shock many to see him reach A- or A league ball by the middle of next year as a then-17 year old! He should be a quick riser with a legitimate chance to make his big league debut around 2022 or 2023 when he would be 19 or 20 years old.
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Old 06-16-2019, 02:53 PM   #17
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TRADE ALERT!

The Astros had to make a tough choice by shipping off fan favorite and all-around good guy Jake Marisnick to the San Francisco Giants, along with AAA relief pitcher Dean Deetz in exchange for Giants closer Will Smith (LHP), MLB reliever Reyes Morontoa, and minor league reliever Jamie Callahan.

The Astros have been hurt by on and off injuries to their starting pitchers throughout this season and it has taken a toll on the bullpen. The addition of Smith and Moronta hopefully will sure up a bullpen that has been solid with Kimbrel, Pressly, and Osuna... but has seen Will Harris, Hector Rondon, Josh James, and recently Wade Miley all struggle in the pen.

It will create more competition for the valuable bullpen spots for the (hopefully) Astros playoff roster. It also gives the Astros a legitimate left handed option out of the bullpen.
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Old 06-16-2019, 10:10 PM   #18
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As a follow up move to make room on the 25 man roster for new relieve Will Smith, the Astros traded away LHP Wade Miley to the Miami Marlins in exchange for RHP Sandy Alcantara. The Astros will absorb 75% of Miley's remaining salary for this season. He is a free agent at the end of the year.

Miley was signed in the offseason with the hope and expectation to be the left handed starter to replace Dallas Keuchel. Miley struggled from the get go with his command and saw him take two different bullpen stints this year. After a couple of decent bullpen outings, he recently had a poor showing and let it carry over to the clubhouse. That was the last time he pitched in an Astros uniform.
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Old 06-18-2019, 04:48 PM   #19
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Fresh off taking 2 of 3 from the White Sox (should have been a 3 game sweep, but blew 1-0 lead in the 8th inning)...the Astros clubhouse seems to be a ticking time bomb.

So many areas, statistically speaking, say that this team should be way better than the current 61-64 record. The Pythagorean record is 71-56!!

They rank in the top 3 in every offensive category in the American league except home runs (11th). But also have the most strikeouts (batting) in the AL and have grounded into the most double plays in the AL.

The bullpen ERA ranks 3rd overall, but has some flaws that have been recently addressed with trades - the recent addition of submarine specialist Joe Smith off of the 60 day DL might help improve. But the rest of the pitching statistics are average or below average in just about every category.

No one is pointing fingers, but the every day players - at least the top 6 in the lineup - are carrying this team. And when Justin Verlander starts a game and we DON'T win, it's a HUGE loss for us because the way he has been pitching, we expect to come up with enough offense to win every one of his starts.

Just a tough situation.

We have a 4 game home series against the struggling Detroit Tigers. A 4 game sweep would put us right back in position to reclaim first place. Taking 3 of the 4 games is a worst-case scenario - or at least feels that way with how things have been going.

Following that series is a HUGE 3 game home series against the Angels who currently have a 65-62 record and a 3 game lead over both the Astros & the A's. After the Angels series is an equally important series against the Tampa Bay Rays who currently have the second wild card spot in the AL.
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Old 06-19-2019, 07:27 PM   #20
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The Astros have caughten a bit of fire recently, winning 7 of their last 8 games and 10 of 14 overall. They currently have a 1/2 game lead over the Angels for 1st place in the AL West. With a 71-68 record (Angels are 70-68) and September call ups on the way to add depth (especially to the bullpen), things are looking up. It will be a tight race to the end of the regular season as the Angels are 1/2 game behind and the A's are only 3.5 games behind. The Astros have 23 games remaining and all but 7 of them are against the AL West foes, including 6 of the last 9 games against the Angels. It should be an interesting race down the stretch.

Jake Bauers has really hit the ball well lately, including against lefties. Carlos Correa has really upped his play the last month and now has his average up to .267 (it was in the .230's).

Young prospects Forrest Whitley (#1 pitching prospect in baseball) and Corbin Martin have filled in admirably the last couple of starts each in place of Collin McHugh and Brad Peacock who are both likely out for the remainder of the season. It's a shame because Peacock was pitching very well as our #3/#4 starter. Alex Reyes has pitched very well since coming off the IL.

Gerrit Cole is a little ahead of schedule from his shoulder inury (been out since May) and should be back for the last 2 weeks of the regular season! Hopefully he comes back in the same great form he was in when he went on the IL back in May.
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