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Astros Are About to be Mind-Blowing Good

Get ready for the Astros to be mind-blowing good! Pitching and hitting are set to improve, and the bullpen will be stronger. Astros fans, don't panic!


You are already seeing it. It is happening. Read what I am talking about below. I started this and had the stats tables BEFORE the game tonight. I talked about this on the daily video.


I know what you are saying right now. Larry you are CRAZY. The Astros are 1-5. Thankfully there have been others that have alluded to the other message of this article.


White Sox media even sees it:



















Our own ClintTheScout told you about the pitching earlier today.



Check out his Article here.


https://www.larrythegm.com/post/astros-first-impressions-of-the-starting-rotation-s-pitch-allocation









Folks, my headline here is even more bold. I firmly believe the 2024 Houston Astros ARE a much better team than the 2023 Houston Astros. Here is why:


Pitching

  1. The Pitching is committing to be more diverse in their pitch selection and this is helping with both fastball effectiveness and offspeed effectiveness.

  2. The area of the team that is its weakest link right now- relief pitching- was considered a team strength coming into the season.

  3. Pitching should VASTLY improve when a few key players return from the IL.

Hitting

  1. The Astros have been EXCEEDINGLY unlucky as a batting team. Their core performance has been wildly better than the results.

  2. Overall, the team's performance with runners on base has been inexplicably bad.

  3. Three of the teams most important hitters have been having the results of the league's worst players. It is unsustainably bad.


Let me take you on a journey to the world the team will play in if these issues normalize.


Some of this will overlap and take the data Clint presented earlier today a next step.


In this table, I show the pitch allocation for the pitchers so far this season and the xwOBA results of each pitch type.

Pitch Distribution

Conclusions

  1. The Astros are throwing FAR more offspeed pitches as a team and having incredible early results. Is this sustainable? The BABIP data does not show a luck element overall. It is something to monitor.

  2. The reduction in fastball usage is also paying benefits compared to the 2023 team and the league average fastball as well.

  3. Overall, the Astros pitchers a giving up runs at 0.5 runs per game less than last year even with the bullpen woes. The xwOBA data would indicate they SHOULD be giving up only 3.4 runs per game vs. the 4.7 runs per game they SHOULD have given up in 2023.

  4. The Astros hitters are seeing an unusually high percentage of fastballs which they have made good contact against. The batters have struggled vs. Breaking and Off-Speed pitches.

  5. Overall, the batters have hit to a xwOBA of 0358! this is VERY high and matches the Atlanta Brave historical offense.

    1. The Astros have actually scored only 3.7 runs per game vs. the league average 4.7 runs/game.

    2. The good 2023 Astros offense scored 5.1 runs per game last year.

    3. Based on their xwOBA that Astros SHOULD have scored 5.9 runs per game. They should have scored 2.2 runs per game more than they have!

Why have the Astros struggled to score runs when their overall statistics indicate their run production should be higher?

The table below shows the issue.

Astros Bat Issues

Overall- The Astros are hitting 0.787 OPS in 2024 in the six full games this season vs. an early league average of 0.717 OPS. This is better than the very good 0.768 OPS for the Astros last year vs. a 0.734 OPS league average.


Bases empty- The Astros are hitting an astronomical 0.942 OPS in 2024.

Runners on- The Astros are hitting 0.619 OPS in 2024

Runners in scoring position- The Astros are hitting 0.521 OPS in 2024!


This kind of production drop is inexplicable. Normally, teams hit better with RISP and you can see that in the data above.


Why war the Astros so bad with Runners on and RISP? TERRIBLE BABIP LUCK

The Astros BABIP is

Overall- 0.308

Empty- 0.338 (unsustainably high)

Runners On- 0.276 (unsustainably low)

RISP- 0.256 (extremely unsustainably low)


They are going to hit with runners on. The offense WILL score and score and score. There is no black hole at the bottom of THIS lineup.

Astros players OPS

There is NO WAY Bregman, Alvarez, and Abreu will underperform to this level in the middle of this lineup. Sure Diaz, Tucker, Altuve, and Pena will cool down. Only Diaz is overperforming at the levels the others are under performing.


Alvarez is already proving me right. Be afraid MLB!


Astros Pitching Staff

As far as the bullpen woes and the desire for more relief pitching. The Relief Pitching should VASTLY improve when a few key players return from the IL.


This is what the pitching staff could look like when Verlander, Garcia, McCullers Jr., and Urquidy return.


Count the pitchers. There are 15 and one of the long relief pitchers is probably in the starting rotation.


There are at least 5 pitchers listed in the third section (conceptually the minors) that are of equal to in projected performance of France, Javier, and Urquidy.


This assumes Scott would be DFAed.


So, which two of the 15 pitchers that has options would you option to Sugar Land when everyone is back? You cannot send down Bielak; he has no options.


Do you understand why Dana Brown is not panicking about the pitching staff and WHY he didn't get yet another free agent pitcher? The pitching staff will get better barring a major injury.


Yes, the top relief pitchers are struggling. Do you REALLY think they will be this bad? No, they are going to be generally at least close to as good as you hoped.


The bats will be better. The bullpen will be better. The starters will get help from a Hall of Famer and a few franchise legends.


Folks, The Astros are about to blow your mind with how good they will be. Get ready!


P.S. Folks, I am sorry, but I am going to call this out.

THIS is CRAP.

Don't listen to anyone telling you stuff like this.

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