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Astros - Athletics Matchup 5/19/23- 5/21/23

Before every series I will post these charts to help you get ready for the games, You can consider this my scouting report. The methodology is described below.

The Astros WELCOME BACK JOSE ALTUVE!!! As a bonus the team hosts the 10-35 Oakland Athletics.

So, how do these two teams matchup?

Overall Preseason WAR Comparisons

Before the season this is how the two teams compared from a projected WAR standpoint.

The Athletics have been having a fire sale. They entered this season projected to be one of the worst teams in the MLB. They have been even worse than projected.

Here is our modified table that shows the WAR by position so far, the projected WAR for the ROS, and then what the cumulative total WAR would be.

From an ACTUAL WAR delivered standpoint overall, the Athletics have been as bad as their 10-35 record. The Astros have a 9.2 to -0.1 advantage so far. Yes, the A's have a total negative WAR of o.1 so far this year. Their pitching has been atrocious.

Oakland's batting has been slightly better than the Astros as a whole this year so far.

Batting Comparison












The Oakland pitching has been generationally terrible.

Batting Comparison





7.13 (30th)

6.05 (30th)



3.39 (2nd)

3.79 (4th)


The Astros pitching has been great. It is exceeding the projections expectations and my expectations.

The Athletics pitching has a 7.13 ERA. In 2023, the next highest ERA is the White Sox at 5.31 ERA. There has NEVER been an AL or NL team that has had a 7.13 ERA. In 1996, Detroit had a 6.38 ERA. In 1930, Philadelphia had a 6.71 ERA. Oakland so far has not just been bad pitching. They have been HISTORICALLY the WORST ever.

The rest of the season projects the A's to be bad but not as bad as they have been. Again, these are the season projection numbers and NOT my opinion.

By the preseason WAR method, Oakland would have been predicted to win 68 games in 2023 vs. the 89 for the Astros. Projected after their starts, the Athletics would track to win 59 games and the Astros project to 90 wins.

Let's compare the competition these two teams have faced.

  • According to the website MLB Strength of Schedule Rankings (,

  • The A's have played the 7th rated schedule so far in the MLB. They have the 2nd rated remaining schedule. The 10-35 team has to face a harder schedule remaining.

  • The Astros have played the 10th rated schedule so far. Their remaining schedule is the 21st rated schedule.

NOTE- the projection numbers have now been updated to the projections as of May 1st. This shifts several of the baseline Astros grades too. The defensive projections also were updated which affected the full season defensive WAR and the defensive grade bumps up and down.

Chart 1- Position Player Roster

Defensive Positions and rosters with bench and key minor league players. Who is injured? Then, the relative scores to arrive at who is better.

A few Oakland batters are performing well beyond expectations. This is reflected in the delivered WAR number so far.

The Astros are projected to have a HUGE advantage at the plate.

Chart 2- The Projected Batting Orders

In this section I predict the general batting order I expect both teams to use this series. I MIGHT update this as the series progresses. You also see how the batting lineup compares with the 2023 projected grades.

The Astros bats may obliterate the Athletics pitching. People may be asking about the mercy rule.

Chart 3- Pitching Rosters

Starters and Relief pitcher rosters with key minor league players. Who is injured? Then, the relative scores to arrive at who is better.

The Pitching matchups are equally favoring to the Astros. Some of the best A's pitchers have significant injuries.

I never expected to see an entire starting staff that is pitching to an F grade. Welcome to the 2023 Oakland Athletics. They are not THIS bad.

Chart 4- Starting Pitching Matchups,

In this section we look at the SP matchups by game.

If the A's don't win tonight vs. Bielak, the odds are that they will be swept. This should be the series that every struggling Astros hitter gets hot. The A's are throwing three lefty SP at the Astros.

Series Prediction- I need to address this. THIS Article is about the matchup and not a prediction. Predicting three games series results is nearly impossible. I do these predictions as a SUMMARY of what I think all of the matchup data is saying.

I believe the Astros will sweep the series. I know it is common for folks to claim that the A's own the Astros. Here are the recent year results.

Looks like another fake narrative to me.


As we have discussed in the previous Astros Report Card Articles here is the grading scale for the position players.

To account for the value of defense a player can get a letter grade bump up or down based on their projected defensive WAR (or actual defensive WAR for 2022) for their primary defensive position.

For the pitchers we will use these two scales- one for 2023 based on projected FIP and the other for the 2022 actual FIP- data.

The overall score will be based on the point values to the right. The differences are tallied in the columns to the right.

Overall Score = Starter Differences + Bench Differences / 2 + MiLB Players Differences /4


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