Today, we have the media members running propaganda for the Astros as usual. Why? I could speculate, but I will say this. The Astros are well known for threatening media members and demanding they not be what THE TEAM considers overly negative. This is why 90% of what you get from local media is propaganda.
I briefly had a person who represented himself as a business partner and family member of one of secondary investors of the Astros come after me for telling you facts and sharing my opinions.
Here is the difference- I don't rely on sources in the Astros organization. I don't ask ANY of you for money. I PAY to give you the content I produce. It costs you nothing. Why? If no one pays me, no one controls me. I give you DATA BASED analysis. Most of what others give you about the Astros and MLB is what the team WANTS you to hear.
So, here we are today. The team is 6-7 and has played simply mediocre or worse teams so far this season. What does the MLB reporter do? He shares a half truth about the 2021 and 2022 start those teams had. He wanted to let you all know all 3 teams were 6-7.
I am going to tell you the truth.
Both the 2021 and 2022 Astros were projected to be better than this team
2021 Astros, who finished 95-67, started 6-7
Started with 6 at home and 7 on the road
The batting was great out of the box
First 13 games- 114 wRC+- 2nd in the MLB
Season- 114 wRC+- 1st in the MLB
The pitching struggled terribly at the start
First 13 games- 4.54 FIP- 19th in the MLB- NO ONE thought their pitching was THAT bad
Season- 4.12 FIP- 12th in the MLB
IF you told me the 2023 Astros are going to finish 95-67, I could believe you. THAT is NOT what Astros fans were saying all off-season.
2022 Astros, who finished 106-56, started 6-7
Started with 4 at home and 9 on the road- NO ONE else is telling you this
The batting was terrible out of the box
First 13 games- 78 wRC+- 23nd in the MLB- NO ONE thought their batting was THAT bad
Altuve struggled early and had a hamstring injury- played in 9 of the 13 games
Alvarez had to be rested for a week- played in 8 of the 13 games
Season- 112 wRC+- 6th in the MLB
The pitching was average at the start of the season
First 13 games- 3.72 FIP- 14th in the MLB- they were better than that
Season- 3.28 FIP- 1st in the MLB
2023 Astros, have started 6-7
Started with 7 at home and 6 on the road
The batting has been average out of the box
First 13 games- 106 wRC+- 10th in the MLB
Altuve has been out BUT Dubon (139 wRC+) has been as productive as one could have expected Altuve to be (129 career wRC+)
Brantley has been out- projected at 121 wRC+
As bad as Astros fans THINK it might have been to have them out, they are likely overestimating the help they will bring.
Astros project to have about the 7th best batting for the rest of 2023
The pitching has been average at the start of the season
First 13 games- 4.11 FIP- 12th in the MLB- they are better than that
Astros project to have about the 10th best pitching for the rest of 2023
Projection systems show the Astros to win 88-93 games
I said 92 before the season started
The start does give us reasons to be concerned
How bad is the start by the 2023 Astros?
The Astros have played teams with a combined record of 25-26. If you factor out the 7-6 those teams won against the Astros, and you weight the records to the number of times the Astros played that team the relative strength of opponents for the Astros was
2023- o.463 winning percentage - 75 win team- 7 home, 6 road
2022- 0.499 winning percentage- 81 win team- 4 home, 9 road
2021- 0.520 winning percentage- 84 win team- 6 home, 7 road
In each of the two previous 6-7 starts the Astros played a more difficult schedule and played more games on the road.
All 6-7 records ARE NOT the same. To be clear, the Astros CAN still win the World Series in 2023. It is just likely to be a much more difficult road than this fan base is prepared for.
The next 18 days are going to tell Astros fans a lot. Here is the schedule of upcoming series.
- Rangers- 3 at home- projected by preseason WAR to win 84 games- 7-5 this year
- Blue Jays- 3 at home- projected by preseason WAR to win 92 games- 8-5 this year
- Braves- 3 away- projected by preseason WAR to win 92 games- 9-4 this year
- Rays- 3 away- projected by preseason WAR to win 87 games- 13-0 this year
- Phillies- 3 at home- projected by preseason WAR to win 85 games-4-9 this year
This is likely the hardest stretch of the year for the Astros. the combined records of these teams is 41-23 which is on pace to win 104 games.
Buckle up fans. This season may be a bumpy ride.
People ask why I am so negative. I DO NOT think it is negative to be realistic about this team. I think it is HEALTHY to be real about what we have and what we need to go where we want to go. I will not allow you all to be gas lighted with propaganda. That is one reason I am here.