July 25, 2017

Where Did All the Pitchers Go?

July 4, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

June was a challenging month for the Houston Astros as four of the five pitchers that were in the opening day starting rotation hit the disabled list. As a result, thirteen of the team’s 27 games in June were started by rookies and the results weren’t pretty. Fortunately, Mike Fiers, the only member of the […]

Astros Fly High in May

June 3, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

The Houston Astros occupied uncharted territory in May winning 22 games while losing only 7.  They started the month in first place in the AL West Division, 3 games ahead of the second place Los Angeles Angels and steadily increased their lead to finish the month 11 games ahead of the second place Texas Rangers.  […]

What Should be Expected from the Houston Astros in 2017?

April 3, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

In the midst of a 70-92 season in 2014, a cover story in Sports Illustrated forecast the Houston Astros to win the World Series in 2017. This seemed like a far-out prediction at the time but the Astros made a significant improvement in 2015, reaching the post-season playoffs with a record of 86-76. They fell […]

Rating the 2017 Hall of Fame Candidates Based on Win Shares

January 4, 2017 by · 2 Comments 

One of the first items of business in baseball each year is the announcement of players elected to the Hall of Fame. This leads to lots of speculation and a little analysis prior to the announcement which is scheduled for January 18, 2017. Many systems exist for evaluating player performance. One such system, the Win […]

Triple Milestones 2016

December 12, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Offensive production in the major leagues increased significantly in 2016 due to a spike in the home run rate.  Other offensive measures were also at the highest level in several years. Year Runs/Game HR/Game Bavg OBP SLG OPS Triple Milestone Hitters 1997 9.53 2.05 .267 .337  .419  .756 7 1998 9.58 2.08 .266 .335  .420 […]

Playoff and World Series Observations – 2016

November 3, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

It doesn’t seem right when a team battles through a 162-game season to receive a wild card, that it can be eliminated in one game.  However, the wild card games are among the most interesting in the post-season. Buck Showalter’s reputation as a manager took a serious hit when he failed to use Zach Britton, […]

Disappointing Finish for Astros in September

October 11, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

For the second straight year, the Houston Astros faltered in the final month of the season. The team had four straight winning months before logging a 13-16 record in September (and the first two days of October.) They didn’t come close to challenging the Texas Rangers for the West Division lead in September, finishing 11 […]

Astros Remain in Wild Card Contention in August

September 3, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

The Houston Astros compiled a record of 16-13 in August bringing the season total to 71-62.  They have the 8th best record in the American League, 8 ½ games behind the Division Leading Texas Rangers and one game behind the Detroit Tigers and the Baltimore Orioles for the second wild card slot.  They have virtually […]

Astros Finish July on a Low Note

August 3, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

When the Astros wrapped up a 3-game sweep of the Los Angeles Angels with a 13-3 win on Sunday, July 24, I decided that if they could take 2 games out of 3 from the Yankees, the headline on my monthly report would read, “Have the Astros Ever Had a Better Month?”  They had cut […]

Offensive Production in the Major Leagues Continues to Increase

July 9, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Offensive production in major league baseball steadily declined after peaking in 2000.  It reached a low point in 2014 and showed an increase in 2015 followed by an even bigger increase in 2016. The numbers below illustrate key hitting and pitching statistics for the peak year of 2000 and the most recent four years.  The 2016 […]

Astros Move Into Wild Card Contention in June

July 3, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

The Houston Astros had their best month of the 2016 season in June with a record of 18-8, moving past the .500 mark into second place in the AL West Division.  That’s the good news.  The bad news is that they lost ground to the first place Texas Rangers, falling 8 ½ games behind after […]

Astros Show Some Life in Late May

June 5, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

After treading water for most of May with a 10-11 record, The Houston Astros came to life by winning 7 of 8 games for the rest of the month. The streak was kicked off by a 3-game sweep in Houston against the Baltimore Orioles when the Astro pitchers struck out a record 52 batters in […]

Astros Falter in April

May 5, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

After a surprisingly strong showing in 2015, expectations for the Astros were even higher in 2016.  It didn’t happen in April as the team finished the month with a record of 7-17.  The only major league team with a worse record was the Atlanta Braves at 5-18.  The Astros did not win 2 games in […]

What Should Be Expected from the Houston Astros in 2016?

April 4, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

After a surprisingly successful season in 2015, expectations for 2016 are for an even better year.  Sports Illustrated has picked the Astros to beat the Cubs in the World Series.  One of the bookmaking sites in Las Vegas, Vegasinsider.com, has quoted the Astros odds of winning the World Series at 13-1, better than those for […]

Baseball America Ranks 7 Houston Astro Prospects in Top 100

March 8, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

With thirty major league teams, each could expect to have 3 or 4 prospects ranked in the top 100.  In 2016, Baseball America has ranked 7 Houston Astro prospects in their top 100.  Four teams failed to place a prospect in the top 100, the Angels, Mariners, Marlins and Orioles.  In 2015, the Astros had […]

Who Were the Most Productive Offensive Players in 2015?

February 12, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Numerous methods have been devised to measure offensive performance.  The most common are batting average, on-base percentage and slugging average.  Since none of these averages provides a complete picture by itself, a more comprehensive measure of offensive performance is useful.  Such a measure would include the following elements: The ability to get on base. The […]

Examing the Hall of Fame Vote

January 12, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

1. Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza were elected. Griffey received votes from 99.3% of the writers, a new record. 2. Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines received over 70% of the vote and are well positioned to be elected next year. It will be the 10th and final year for Raines on the ballot.   […]

Triple Milestones 2015

January 8, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Offensive production in the major leagues increased slightly in 2015. The number of runs and home runs per game increased in 2015 and batting average, on-base percentage and slugging average also increased in 2015 after steadily declining since 2000. Year Runs/Game HR/Game BAVG OBA Slugging OPS Triple Milestone Hitters 1990 8.51 1.58 .258 .324 .386 […]

Rating the 2016 Hall of Fame Candidates Based on Win Shares

January 3, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

One of the first items of business in baseball each year is the announcement of players elected to the Hall of Fame.  This leads to lots of speculation and a little analysis prior to the announcement which is scheduled for January 6, 2016. Many systems exist for evaluating player performance.  One such system, the Win […]

Major League Offense Increases in 2015, Ending a Long Decline

December 15, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

At mid-season, I wrote a report indicating that there were signs that the long decline in offense in the major leagues that began in 2000 was coming to an end.  An update at season’s end indicates that the increase in offense is greater than it was at mid-season. The numbers below illustrate key hitting and […]

Post Season Observations Part III

November 5, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Keep the line moving.  The Royals had the uncanny ability in all three series to string together several hits with a mistake by their opponents to score 3-5 runs in an inning without a home run. The Royals hit only 2 home runs (both solos) in their 5 game series win over the Mets. Will […]

Astros Complete a Surprising 2015 Season

October 28, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The Houston Astros were expected to make a modest improvement in 2015 over their 70-92 record in 2014.  Did anyone expect them to still be playing on October 14 and to be playing after the St. Louis Cardinals and New York Yankees had been eliminated and sent home?  Would anyone have guessed that they would […]

Playoff Observations, Part II

October 26, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

All four of the LCS teams have blue as the dominant color. Is Daniel Murphy really this good? Why isn’t Mark Buehrle on Toronto’s playoff roster? Ben Zobrist has had an excellent major league career, none of it with the team that originally drafted and signed him, the Houston Astros. Josh Donaldson has a strong […]

Playoff Observations – 2015

October 17, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Only one AL team (Kansas City) that was in the playoffs in 2014 is back in the playoffs in 2015. The first four post-season games played this year were won by the visiting team, three of them by teams from Texas. The two wild card play in games were both won by the second wild […]

Astros Hang On to Wild Card After Faltering in September

October 6, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

After an absence of nine years, the Houston Astros are back in the post-season playoffs as the second wild card in the American League.  The Astros spent 139 days on top of the AL West division in the first five months of the season but they were unable to carry it through into September where […]

August Astros Report and Personal Note

September 8, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Some of you may be wondering why you didn’t receive my monthly report on the Astros for  August.  Nobody did.  On Saturday. August 29, I suffered a fall at home that resulted in a fracture in one of the bones that is part of the hip bone structure.  I was taken to the hospital and […]

Astros Sweep Angels to Regain First Place

August 3, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

After losing six straight games prior to the All-Star break, the Astros surprising reign of 84 straight days on top of the AL Western Division came to an end.  The offense disappeared during the losing stretch but it reappeared after the break and the team kept pace with the Angels for the next nine days […]

Is the Decline in Major League Baseball Offense Over?

July 11, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Offensive production in major league baseball has been steadily declining since it peaked in 2000.  It appears that it may have reached a low point in 2014.  At the midpoint of the 2015 season, offense is showing a slight increase over last year. The numbers below illustrate key hitting and pitching statistics for the peak […]

Seventy Three Days and Counting

July 2, 2015 by · 1 Comment 

On April 19, the Houston Astros defeated the Los Angeles Angels, 4-3 and moved into first place in the American League West Division.  Seventy three days later, they are still there.  At one point in May, they led the division by 7 games and finished the month 5 games ahead.  They encountered some rough spots […]

Astros Still Flying High after Two Months

June 3, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

At the end of April, the Houston Astros surprisingly led the American League West Division by 4 games with a record of 15-7.  During the month of May, the lead briefly increased to 7 games before settling back to 4 games with a record of 31-20 at the end of May, the most wins of […]

Are the Houston Astros Back?

May 2, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The Houston Astros completed the month of April with a 7-game winning streak and a record of 15-7, their best opening month since 1986 when they finished on top in the NL Western Division.  They lead the American League West Division by four games.  The big question now is if it will last.  This is […]

What’s in Store for the Houston Astros in 2015?

April 4, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Expectations for the Astros in 2015 are higher than they have been in several years.  In 2014, the Astros broke a 3-year streak of last place finishes with over 100 losses by recording a 19 game improvement, finishing with a record of 70-92.  Not great but a clear step in the right direction, especially since […]

Analyzing the 2015 Hall of Fame Vote

January 17, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The Baseball Writers Association of America elected 4 players to the Hall of Fame this year for the first time since 1955, Randy Johnson (97.3%), Pedro Martinez (91.3%), John Smoltz (82.9%) and Craig Biggio (82.7%).  All four easily surpassed the 75% required for election. Of those on the ballot who were not elected, Mike Piazza […]

Rating the 2015 Hall of Fame Candidates Based on Win Shares

January 3, 2015 by · 1 Comment 

One of the first items of business in baseball each year is the announcement of players elected to the Hall of Fame. This leads to lots of speculation and a little analysis prior to the announcement which is scheduled for January 6, 2015. Many systems exist for evaluating player performance. One such system, the Win […]

Who Were the Most Productive Offensive Players in 2014?

December 9, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Numerous methods have been devised to measure offensive performance.  The most common are batting average, on-base percentage and slugging average.  Since none of these averages provides a complete picture by itself, a more comprehensive measure of offensive performance is useful.  Such a measure would include the following elements: The ability to get on base. The […]

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