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Myth Busters: What Is Wrong with the Astros?

Updated: Apr 7

Also, what is NOT Wrong with the Astros- the Myth Busters.

Uncover the truth about the struggling Astros! Myth Busters: What Is Wrong with the Astros? Dive into the real issues and debunk common misconceptions.

I knew after last night's game that Twitter/ X was a place I should not spend much time on. That was validated for me this morning. Today I am going to try to make this analysis very basic. Several pictures straight from

The question we will try to analyze is what is wrong with the Astros? Why are they 2-7? I said they will be better, and I said in the last week they are about to be mind-blowingly good. Was I just stupid? Did the guy accused of being the most negative Astros fan there is just go crazy?

Maybe. I don't think so.

The truth is that it is WAY TOO EARLY to proclaim ANYTHING definitive about the 2024 Astros, but there are hundreds- no, maybe thousands- of Astros fans hot takes out there.

My frustration is that people keep pointing to the wrong problems. Let's approach this in a myth busters style.

If you want actual objective analysis based on fact, THIS is the place to be. If you want a place like this to continue, please support this site. Here is how.

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Again, every one of these reviews can and should say it is too early to state anything concrete. Since the Hot Takers won't relent, neither will I.

Myth #1- The Hitting Sucks- Busted

Astros Dynasty Hitting

Here is the offense for every season in the dynastic Astros years.

Surprise! Your 2024 Astros offense as a whole is NOT the problem.

So far, the 2024 Astros have hit BETTER THAN ANY ASTROS DYNASTIC TEAM.

The Astros are fourth in wRC+ in the MLB.

Claiming they need some wholesale major revamping of the hitters given their performance so far is just SILLY.

So what IS the Astros offensive issue?

Myth #2- They are NOT Hitting with RISP- CONFIRMED

Astros Hitting RISP

As a team the Astros are hitting a very good 0.772 OPS. With RISP they are hitting 0.520 OPS. Saying it another way the Astros hit 129 wRC+ overall and 61 with RISP. SIXTY-ONE! Their BABIP in RISP opportunities is 0.262. It will NOT stay that low.

They have been HORRIBLY UNLUCKY with contact with RISP. How do I know that? The launch speed is within 1 MPH of all of the other years. They will hit with RISP and it will be glorious.

Also, WHO is not hitting with RISP compared to how they have been in the dynastic period?

Astros Players RISP

Yordan Alvarez and Jose Altuve are the two biggest disappointments compared to they have been with RISP. Unless you HONESTLY believe those two are washed up, then chill. It will get better.

Let's agree to monitor Abreu. Espada has begun to take action in moving him to seventh in the order and keep him from facing breaking pitch dominant RHSP. Espada is doing with Abreu what I BEGGED Dusty to do last year.

IF Abreu is done done, the team is preparing reinforcements in Sugar Land. We just don't know and silly statements like Abreu has sucked the entire time he has been here are just false and bring this from me. If the others were hitting you would care far less.

Do you think Bregman and Pena forgot how to hit with RISP based on ten or less PAs? Really?

The truth is the Astros will either start to hit like their overall hitting statistics or they are all washed up and they are just all going to start hitting like the RISP statistics. Which do you think is more likely?

Myth #3- They need more Starting Pitching- Busted but Still MIGHT be True

Astros Starting Pitchers

If we are asking what is wrong with the Astros through nine games this myth is busted.

The 2024 Astros SP has been better so far than ANY of the dynastic teams. The ERA is almost half a run better than the 2022 SP. The FIP is better than the legendary 2018 SP.

The Astros Starting pitching has been the fourth best in the MLB this year.

Starting pitching is NOT THE PROBLEM- YET.

It could be. I have concerns. We also have JV starting in Sugar Land in a rehab start TODAY. We also will have other SP soon. If it is a problem, it may not be for long.

Myth #4- The Relief Pitching is Terrible- YES CONFIRMED!

Astros Relief Pitchers

The Relief Pitching has been horrible - 28th in ERA, 29th in FIP. THIS, THIS is where the energy of the team needs to be.

What is wrong with the Relief Pitching?

The TEAM RP wOBA 0.412 (30th by far), xwOBA 0.356 (20th- not great but not near as bad), BABIP 0.358 (28th). So, they have been REALLY unlucky or something else.

Who has been bad?

Astros Relief Pitchers

Pressly has an ERA of 20.25 and a BABIP of 0.636!

Abreu has an ERA of 10.12 and a BABIP of 0.500!

Hader has an ERA of 6.75 and a BABIP of 0.429!

Let's dig deeper and ask WHY.

Key Astros RP by Pitch

All three have thrown their fastballs well and seem to not have the results that the quality of contact would suggest.

It is the Breaking Pitches that have been a disaster for all three.

  • Why would Hader's 0.122 xwOBA slider from last year be hit 0.429 xwOBA this year?

  • Why would Pressly's 0.294 xwOBA slider from last year be hit 0.391 xwOBA this year?

  • Why would Abreu's 0.280 xwOBA slider from last year be hit 0.468 xwOBA this year?

Folks, I said this on X

"My guess is that something someone (maybe Diaz) is doing with these top RP is tipping pitches. Teams are teeing off on all three like they know what is coming. WHY?"

The opposing teams are teeing off on historically unhittable sliders like they KNOW are coming. My Guess is that Diaz is positioning his body to receive these massively breaking sliders differently than the fastballs and THIS is tipping off hitters.

Help me look for it.

IF the Astros can stop tipping the sliders from their top three relief pitchers this team is positioned to DOMINATE.

What is wrong with the Astros? They are tipping their highest leverage Slider pitches at critical points in the game. That is my theory.

We have Myth Busters about what is wrong with the Astros and pointed folks in the RIGHT direction.

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1 Comment

I will be watching Diaz like a Hawk!

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