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Astros: Would You Rather Be Lucky or Good- All About Tucker

I will admit my frustration level is sky high right now. What is my problem?


I addressed this content in the last half of this video.


All over this fan base we have fans making definitive statements about how terrible Astros players are in the post season based on 10 GAMES.


Do you understand that 10 GAMES is not a sufficient sample size to make ANY definitive statement about many players?


All you can say about some Astros players in 10 games is whether or not they have been lucky and NOT whether they have been good or bad- especially Kyle Tucker. Why?


SOME players are very streaky. They get into and out of grooves. A short list of Astros players that in MY OPINION have shown they are streaky:

Alvarez

Abreu

Altuve

Bregman

McCormick

Dubon

Tucker

Maldonado

Pena

Diaz

Meyers

Julks


Yes, that is right. I could have said of all the Astros regulars the only one I don't think is streaky is Brantley, but I thought it was more fun this way.


Let me give you some facts about 10 game performances. How did these first 10 game performances predict their 2023 seasons?

In short, they didn't. Shockingly, Bregman WAS NOT the 25 wRC+, 0.411 OPS player he was in the first 10 games. Are you still not convinced? Do not worry; I have more.


How do the core Astros batters compare in the team's last 20 regular season games when they had all of the pressure of making the postseason (two 10 game data points) to their 10 actual postseason games?

Every single Astros player on this list has two of these data points that differ by 30 wRC+. That is the difference between an All-Star and a bench player.


Diaz has a 227 wRC+ difference between games 143-152 and this postseason. His sample sizes are even smaller which is just amplifying my point here.


DO NOT MAKE JUDGEMENTS ABOUT PLAYERS BASED ON 10 GAMES OR EVEN 20 GAMES OF PERFORMANCE.


Most fans KNOW this. Almost NO ONE says "he sucks" after the tenth game of the year. Somehow, this inner filter drops when it comes to the postseason. It shouldn't.


Here is what drive a lot of this fluctuation- LUCK as translated to BABIP.


For each of the Astros I am giving you their PS BABIP (0.297 league average) and comparing that to each player's career BABIP which defines how well they NORMALLY translate contact to hits.


Then, for each Astros player I am giving you their postseason wOBA and xwOBA (which projects what their wOBA SHOULD be based in the quality of contact including exit velocity.)


The two columns I label GAP are essentially the measure of PS luck for each Astros player.

Green is lucky and yellow is unlucky here. If a player has large gaps for both BABIP and wOBA, I would call that player UNLUCKY.


You see FIVE of the Astros I would classify as unlucky. Not surprisingly, THESE are the players I see getting slammed daily.


Let me tell you what I hear when you slam these five players today.


"BE LUCKIER!"


I do not hear be better which is what you THINK you are saying. You are just mad because they are unlucky. It apparently is better to be lucky than good. I disagree.


Let me turn to the most egregious of this situation right now- Kyle Tucker.


I had a person that would call himself a super fan say in last night's Twitter Space that Kyle Tucker SHOULD be on the bench for today's ALCS Game 7. Kyle Tucker!


Games 143-152 - 141 wRC+

Games 153-162 - 151 wRC+

Postseason - 60 wRC+


I was LIVID. I LOST IT. Folks, I am at a point with this fan base and the media that gaslights you daily that I am just not going to take Dumb, Snarky, Disrespectfulness, nor Personal shots. I am going to go nuclear. I am so tired of horrible analysis that completely ignores reality from people that KNOW better.


Let me ask this that I included in a quick take LATE last night.


Which is worse?


Springer in 2017 ALCS (6 wRC+- 30 PA)

Tucker in 2023 ALCS (60 wRC+- 43 PA)


Choose Wisely.


As a reminder Springer won the World Series MVP. Folks, giving up on an All-Star level performer who has a history of being streaky is ______. You fill in the blank. My words would be filled with words that I really try to stay away from on the site.


In case, you want to make the case that Springer in 2017 was known to be better than Kyle Tucker today, there is problem for you- facts.


Springer 2014-2017 Career 2169 PA - 132 wRC+

Tucker 2018-2023 Career 2222 PA - 132 wRC+


Here is what this comes down to unless you think Kyle Tucker IS actually going to hit a 0.192 BABIP, you should know that Tucker's 60 wRC+, 0.531 OPS, and 0.257 wOBA are more about luck than him sucking this postseason.


The similarity of Tucker in 2023 to Springer in 2017 is so close that last night I published the condensed version on Tucker here. Is Tucker the new Springer? It is quite possible.


Someone replied that Tucker was not making good contact. Again, it is a 43 PA sample size

Tucker 2023 Exit Velocity 90.2

Tucker 2023 Postseason Exit Velocity 89.0

I don't think that is as much of a gap as the snarky replier thought it was, but I am sharing FACTS not uninformed opinions.


Look folks, Kyle Tucker is in an UNLUCKY slump. He has them all of the time. You know what could happen today and it would be typical Kyle Tucker? For him to go 4 out of five hit 2 HR, a 2B, and to steal a base. Kyle Tucker is one of the best 30 position players in the MLB. You NEVER sit him unless he is HURT or SICK.



Astros lucky good Tucker





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