The Astros Always Get Hot in June- Did it Start Tonight?
I have heard how the Astros ALWAYS get hot as the justification for why people should be patient and just trust that the anemic Astros offense that is:
20th in Runs Scored
22nd in OPS
23rd in wRC+
will get hot.
Let's explore how true that is and if true how hot we can expect the Astros bats to get.
Here are the last five full seasons wRC+ by month and a graph to illustrate. Three of the last five full seasons the Astros did indeed get hotter in June and for those seasons June was the team's best month. In 2017, the Astros got hot in May and stayed hot in the summer. In 2019, the Astros started hot and got cold in June. The hottest month in 2019 was August.
So, if they do get hot in the summer how much better is the season overall than the season through this exact point 46 games into the season?
You can see that on average the wRC+ for the full season dynasty teams has gone up an average of 5. The max increase was 11 in 2017 and the minimum was a decrease of 3 in 2019.
I wanted to understand if we could learn something from the previous starts to predict the increase we could expect in 2023.
In 2022, the increase was predictable. Their BABIP was 23 points below league average. There was a 15-point wOBA gap. BOTH of these indicated that team had been very unlucky.
The data in the other years is not as clear. There is no real way to predict the rise in production.
Almost on cue the Astros are EXPLODING in Milwaukee. The wRC+ is 97 right now as I type this, and the Astros have 10 runs! The Astros have not had 10 runs all year. They finished with 12 runs.
Let's assume we are starting from the base of 97 wRC+. IF the Astros add 5-10 to that they will move from the being 23rd in wRC+ as this game started to being 10th to 13th in wRC+.
Folks, THAT would be a GREAT improvement. Let's hope we see it. Let's start the June batting rally here on May 22nd. Maybe it has started.
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