We continue our look around the league with the Houston Astros. And we look at three players rising to the occasion. While others have not quite hit the mark.
1 Up: George Springer
The Astros have an underrated awesome outfield. That outfield is anchored by George Springer. Springer is a guy that can be a bit streaky. But as we’ve seen with incredible postseason performances when he is locked in, he’s a tough out. And so far this season, Springer has been locked in completely. Across 47 games, Springer has 17 home runs and 42 RBI’s, and he’s slashing .313/.396/.654. And if we take a closer look over his last seven games, it’s even more impressive. George has 11 hits, four home runs, 9 RBI’s and a slash line of .393/.469/.893. An .800 Slugging Percentage is unlikely to maintain for a full season but any amount of time over the course of the season will result in a good season.
1 Down: Yuli Gurriel
The Astros first baseman is a very streaky player, and he’s currently on a downswing of this streak. For the 2019 season, Yuli’s numbers are respectable as he currently has a .263/.306/.409 slash line. But when diving into his last seven games, the numbers become a bit more startling as Yuli is slashing .148/.207/.185. These are not the number that you want from a premium offensive position like first base. Gurriel is a vital asset for Houston is they are going to capture the 2019 World Series.
2 Up: Michael Brantley
As we stated earlier, the Astros outfield is quite underrated. Another player manning that outfield is Michael Brantley. Michael Brantley has had a rough few years in terms of staying healthy and on the field. But since joining Houston, Brantley has been one of the staples of the Astros lineup. For the season Michael has ten homers, 32 RBI’s and a slash line of .328/.377/.563. And Brantley has been one of the main reasons the Astros have the best record in baseball.
2 Down: Chris Devenski
At one point a few seasons ago, Chris Devenski was nearly unhittable. But we have not seen any semblance of that Devenski this season for the Astros. Thus far Devenski has pitched 17.2 innings this season and all to the tune of a 5.60 ERA and a WHIP of 1.47. Those are not the type of numbers you want form someone who is supposed to be a high leverage reliever. And if you take a closer look at some of Devenski’s more recent numbers, it gets worse. Over his last eight innings of work Devenski has an ERA of 7.88, he’s given up seven earned runs and ten hits. If the Astros are going to make their way to the 2019 World Series, Devenski will need to turn it around.
3 Up: Josh Reddick
Continuing the trend of the Astros outfield, Josh Reddick is now in the mix. Over the course of Reddick’s career, he has been a streaky player. But this season has moved to another level entirely. For the season, Reddick has a slash line of .331/.384/.466. And choosing a smaller sample size makes the numbers jump out even more. As over Reddick’s last seven games, the slash line becomes an even more impressive .360/.419/.640. And these smaller sample sizes can change over the course of a long 162 game season. But having an entire outfield of players that are raking makes the Astros difficult to defeat.
3 Down: Jose Altuve
Jose Altuve has been the unquestioned face of the Houston Astros for several years now. But over the past two seasons, Altuve has struggled to stay healthy. And that has limited the Stros’ Second Baseman. Altuve is currently on the IL with a left hamstring strain. But before hitting the IL, Altuve batting average was an un-Altuve-like .243. And over the last 15 games Jose played in, he was slashing .180/.328/.260. Those numbers are not what we’ve come accustomed to from Jose Altuve. But the lower half that is so important to Jose just wasn’t underneath him. If the Astros are going to achieve the ultimate goal and win, they will need Jose Altuve.
B.O.L.O: Roberto Osuna
When looking strickly at the performance of the player, Roberto Osuna has been dominant this season. Across 21.1 innings pitched, Osuna has and unbelievable ERA and a WHIP of .42. And somehow taking the last 15.1 innings of work make his numbers look even more impressive. Over the 15.1 inning span, Osuna has an ERA of 0.00 with 13 strikeouts and eight saves. This type of magical performance bodes well for the Astros if Osuna can maintain this level of dominance.