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The Astros Offense Will Be Better in 2024

Some Astros fans are upset. With the signing of Victor Caratini, their favorite Astros player, Martin Maldonado, will not be returning in 2024. This marks the beginning of a new era.

I would submit to you that this will be addition by subtraction for the Astros and their bats are going to surprise this fan base as they shine when their lineup is not bogged done vs. RHP by Maldonado. Please don't immediately dismiss me as a hater. Please give me the opportunity to give you data.

The Astros had a top five offense in 2023. Let me give you some evidence for why the Astros offense will be better in 2024.

What do you think about an Astros lineup with the following wRC+ batting statistics projected in 2024? (As a reminder, 120 is 20% better than average.)










As a starting lineup that is weighted average of 123. The top 14 players project to an average of 119. If the team hit 117-119 wRC+, that would make it the third best offense in Astros history- behind ONLY 2019 and 2017. Of the 14 Astros regular players only TWO of them are 33+ years old- Altuve and Abreu. Younger teams tend to have less injuries.

As a team, the Astros hit a league third best 124 wRC+ with RISP. Of all of the starters, Maldonado was the team worst 47 wRC+ with RISP. Another sign of addition by subtraction.

Here is how the 2024 team projects in detail.

2024 Astros Offense

I know Astros fans are upset that Meyers may be starting. I am not sure why. The team will project to score 5.36 runs/game. The 2023 Astros would project to have scored 5.18 runs/game and they actually scored 5.10 runs per game.

The algorithms are consistently showing a few things that might surprise you:

  1. Abreu is projected to be an above average hitter in 2024

  2. The Astros project to have ONE regular player hitting below 90 wRC+

  3. The current projected lineup goes 1-8 above average hitters.

Astros fans would get massively excited when the team would roll out the death lineup from last season. Folks, the Astros will be rolling out a lineup in 2024 that is very close to that death lineup- they will be better.

For this article, I want folks to understand that the 2024 Astros team offense is significantly better RIGHT NOW than the 2023 team and what would have been the 2024 team with Maldonado if he had come back. Here is the comparison.

offense comp

Some of the points above are keys to this comparison.

  1. With Maldy in the lineup and assuming the 2023 PT, the Astros would have had a projection of one below average hitter at batting eighth (Meyers) and one atrocious hitter at the bottom of the lineup (Maldonado).

  2. They would have a very good hitter (Diaz) splitting time with a veteran that would have demanded playing time that once again was that atrocious hitter.

  3. Abreu projects (109 wRC+) to be far short of his career average (128) but far above his 2023 performance (86)

  4. The 2023 roster of regulars had four players I would classify as bad hitters (<=80 wRC+) and two more below average hitters (80-90 wRC+) and those two were starters. This resulted in the constant attempt to matchup the lineup to the regulars strengths when possible.

  5. The only 2024 active roster player that projects to be "bad" hitter in 2024 is Kessinger (69) in very limited playing time. All of the other batters are 90+ wRC+ projected hitters.

  6. One of the issues the 2023 team had was hitting against RHP as shown at the bottom of the table above. The current 2024 lineup projects to be very balanced because both Diaz and Caratini are better vs. RHP.

  7. Overall, I would project the Astros to score 0.27 runs/game more vs. LHP and 0.19 runs/game more vs. RHP than last year. That may not sound like much to you but that is about the level that I would consider significant.

I don't know how else to say this. For Astros fans wanting the team to make a major improvement by signing a big free agent, the fact that Maldonado will not be getting 300+ PA vs. RHP will be a bigger improvement than almost any free agent the Astros could afford.

You want Cody Bellinger? Replacing Meyers with Belinger adds only 0.04 runs/game in a projection. Signing Caratini and taking Maldy out added 0.11 runs/game.

It's addition by subtraction and a few key players stepping up to their projected performance that will make the Astros offense better in 2024. We will see how much better.

From a quick WAR viewpoint:

Astros 2023 Batting WAR- 27.2

Astros 2024 Projected WAR before no FA- 29.8

Astros 2024 Projected WAR IF they signed Maldonado- 28.8

Astros 2024 Projected WAR with Caratini and no Maldonado- 30.9

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