As baseball’s regular season draws to a close, Astros fans have something to be excited for for the first time in a few years. But of course, they have fans on the edges of their seats as they bring the hope for a playoff berth down to the wire. The Angels are breathing down their necks, and they have been hot lately. Houston got to experience their explosive offense first hand last week.
You’ve got to give it to the MLB for adding the second wildcard spot in 2012. It’s really involved many more fans, probably hundreds of thousands, in the end of each season. Many people were saying when they added the second wildcard spot that it was just transparently a way for the league to make more money by extending the playoffs for another game. While that may be true, it doesn’t take away any of the excitement from the wider possibility of an end of season playoff run for a given team.
When you look at the stats for the Astros, what stands out is how few players have really had a stand out season. Dallas Keuchel has obviously been dominant – he hasn’t lost a game at home all season – and Alexander McHugh has also pitched incredibly well, especially down the stretch. Other than the two of them there is not a starting pitcher with more than 5 wins. The bullpen deserves a lot of credit. On the offensive side of things there is, count him, ONE regular starter – Jose Altuve – with a batting average over .300. Of the players who have started over 100 games, only two are even above .250. They have really come together as a team to give fans a reason to watch late into the regular season and, hopefully, further than that.