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Articles Tagged Houston Astros 

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06-23

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What You Need to Know: Yankees/Rockies 2: The Beltran Rises
by
Demetrius Bell

06-14

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3

Prospectus Feature: 365 Days of a Shortstop Revolution
by
Aaron Gleeman

06-14

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4

Prospectus Feature: What the #StroPoll Results Got Wrong
by
Rob Mains

06-12

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6

Pebble Hunting: The State of the Closer
by
Sam Miller

06-02

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What You Need to Know: Baseball Easy
by
Demetrius Bell

05-31

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5

What You Need to Know: So This Is Matt Harvey!
by
Daniel Rathman

05-27

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6

What You Need to Know: Would You Believe It, A New Strikeout Record
by
Daniel Rathman

05-18

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8

Transaction Analysis: Fredi, Blame, Fired
by
Aaron Gleeman, Wilson Karaman and Matthew Trueblood

05-12

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Rubbing Mud: The Non-Pitcher Guide To Improving Your Pitching This Winter
by
Matthew Trueblood

05-12

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6

What You Need to Know: Max Scherzer Is Our Greatest Active Historic-Start Pitcher
by
Demetrius Bell

05-04

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4

Rubbing Mud: The Astros As Sellers
by
Matthew Trueblood

05-04

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Tools of Ignorance: The Somewhat Dubious Outlook For the Next Generation of Rebuilds
by
Jeff Quinton

05-03

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What You Need to Know: Nomar Mazara Makes Five Of Us Look Smart
by
Daniel Rathman

04-27

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7

Baseball Therapy: Can Teams Come Back From a Comeback?
by
Russell A. Carleton

04-15

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4

Outta Left Field: Finding the Next Superstar On My HACKING MASS Roster
by
Dustin Palmateer

04-14

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Tools of the Trade
by
Jeff Long

04-13

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6

Outta Left Field: Three Ways of Thinking About Ken Giles, Non-Closer
by
Dustin Palmateer

04-07

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What You Need to Know: Need Cano Basehits!
by
Demetrius Bell

04-07

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Prospectus Q&A: Astros Pitching Coach Brent Strom
by
Evan Drellich

04-06

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4

What You Need to Know: Noah Syndergaard and the 95 mph Slider
by
Emma Baccellieri

03-31

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Rumor Roundup: Tim Lincecum, Still Exists
by
Demetrius Bell

03-30

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2

Transaction Analysis: Deep Cuts For The SuperFans
by
Bryan Grosnick

03-22

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4

Baseball Therapy: Are You Cultured?
by
Russell A. Carleton

03-16

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12

Rubbing Mud: Bring Back the Belanger!
by
Matthew Trueblood

03-11

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Winter Is Leaving
by
Meg Rowley

01-19

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Rumor Roundup: Diamondbacks Will Make Pollock Prove It
by
Daniel Rathman

01-19

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2

Baseball Therapy: Let's Figure Out What a Scouting Department's Entire Product is Worth
by
Russell A. Carleton

01-05

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Rubbing Mud: Kyle Gibson's Encouraging Comp, and Kyle Gibson's Really Encouraging Comp
by
Matthew Trueblood

12-29

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Best of BP 2015: Forty Minutes In Houston: ALDS Game 4
by
Sam Miller

12-16

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17

Baseball Therapy: Have We Been Underpricing Relievers?
by
Russell A. Carleton

12-04

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Ducks on the Pond: The Houston Astros and the Outfield Creep
by
Chris Mosch

11-19

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Baseball Therapy: What Should the QO Number Be?
by
Russell A. Carleton

11-13

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14

Transaction Analysis: Colby Qualifies
by
Matthew Trueblood

10-20

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5

Baseball Therapy: Say You'll Remember Me
by
Russell A. Carleton

10-13

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6

Playoff Prospectus: Forty Minutes In Houston: ALDS Game 4
by
Sam Miller

10-13

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BP Unfiltered: Why Didn't The Royals Steal Home?
by
Dustin Palmateer

10-12

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Playoff Prospectus: The Story of Two Pitchers Left In: ALDS Game 3
by
Matthew Trueblood

10-10

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5

Playoff Prospectus: And Then Nothing Turned Itself Into Science: ALDS Game 2
by
Sam Miller

10-09

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12

Playoff Prospectus: The Royals' Unforced Error: ALDS Game 1
by
Matthew Trueblood

10-08

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6

Playoff Prospectus: ALDS Preview: Astros vs. Royals
by
Sam Miller

10-07

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9

Playoff Prospectus: WC Recap: A Game of Hinch's
by
R.J. Anderson

10-06

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Raising Aces: Dallas Keuchel vs. Masahiro Tanaka
by
Doug Thorburn

10-06

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9

Baseball Therapy: My Bad Baseball Predictions
by
Russell A. Carleton

10-05

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6

What You Need to Know: Fin
by
Ian Frazer and Daniel Rathman

10-05

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3

Transaction Analysis: How The Wild Card Winners Were Built
by
BP Staff

10-02

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What You Need to Know: Wild!
by
Chris Mosch

06-12

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5

Daisy Cutter: Building an Ace From the Ground Up
by
Sahadev Sharma

05-21

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Transaction Analysis: All's Well That Ends Wel
by
R.J. Anderson and Christopher Crawford

05-18

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The Call-Up: Lance McCullers
by
Christopher Crawford and J.P. Breen

05-08

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What You Need to Know: Smoked!
by
Daniel Rathman

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Beltran continues his reboot, the Astros are bona fide hot, and Andrelton Simmons makes a play.

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A year ago today, Francisco Lindor was recalled. Since (roughly) that day, the position has gone from a dead spot to historically great.

Eleven months ago Alcides Escobar was voted into the All-Star game as the AL’s starting shortstop. Escobar is an oft-praised defender with plus speed on a Royals team that was coming off a World Series loss and headed for a World Series win, but he also ended the first half with a modest .699 OPS and finished the season with a .614 OPS that nearly matched his .636 career mark through age 28. Alcides Escobar, All-Star starting shortstop just seemed a little lofty.

Royals fans stuffed the ballot box so much that second baseman Omar Infante and his .555 OPS nearly got voted into the game as well, but in Escobar’s case the story wasn’t so much about an undeserved selection as no other AL shortstops standing out as clearly deserving. In other words, don’t blame Escobar or Royals fans for his being in the starting lineup alongside the biggest stars in the league. None of the AL shortstops had an OPS above .750 at the All-Star break. The chosen backup was light-hitting Jose Iglesias, another glove-first player whose career OPS is .680.

Eleven months later, the AL’s shortstop landscape has changed so dramatically that the position as a whole has a higher collective OPS (.709) than Escobar had at the time of the All-Star break last year (.699) and Escobar has been the worst-hitting shortstop in the entire league. Xander Bogaerts is hitting .359/.405/.527 for the Red Sox. Manny Machado, who shifted from third base to shortstop following J.J. Hardy’s foot injury, is hitting .308/.376/.600 for the Orioles. Francisco Lindor, who made his debut exactly one year ago today, is hitting .304/.360/.450 for the Indians. Carlos Correa, the reigning Rookie of the Year, is hitting .256/.351/.423 for the Astros.

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Which offensive stat is most important to a hitter’s value? Not the one you may think.

On Wednesday night, this image created a small Twitter sensation. Mind you, it was a small sensation. On a night that featured noteworthy pitching performances ranging from Yu Darvish’s injury to Jameson Taillon successful debut to James Shields to Snoop Dogg, there wasn’t room for a large sensation. But this screenshot during the Houston broadcast (in a game in which the Astros actually beat the Rangers in Arlington!) caused some of us to drop our slide rules in amazement:

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Is anybody doing anything interesting, or are we all just waiting for the apocalypse?

The Oakland A’s started the ninth inning of Game 7 of the 1973 World Series ahead 5-1. There is video of this. Rollie Fingers is on the mound. The great A’s relief ace is already the great A’s relief ace by this point. He was an All-Star in ’73, his 1.92 ERA the fifth best in baseball (minimum 50 innings; third best minimum 100). He saved 22 games, third-most in baseball. He had pitched in six of the seven World Series games, for a total of 12 2/3 innings as John Milner worked him to a 3-2 count leading off the ninth in Game 7. Milner pulls the pitch foul, and that’s when the video of Game 7 cuts off. The final half-inning of that game doesn't appear to exist online.

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Matt Albers delivers the big double. Meanwhile... the rest of baseball stops what it's doing to consider Matt Albers delivering the big double.

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The Mets erstwhile ace gets back on track, the Braves are on a bona fide not-cold streak, and Wood beats Wood.

The Monday Takeaway
It’s been rocky sledding for Matt Harvey in recent weeks, especially his last three starts, when opponents hit the right-hander hard and often, to the tune of 27 hits—four of them homers—in 13 1/3 innings. That wouldn’t do on Memorial Day, not with Jose Quintana continuing a breakout season that’s seen him emerge as one of baseball’s elite left-handed starters. And to the great thrill of the fans in attendance at Citi Field, the Matt Harvey they’ve come to know and love returned and proved up to the task.


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The Astros strike out a slew to set one record, Fernandez whiffs a bunch to tie a franchise mark, and Jackie Bradley is back to being a regular guy.

The Thursday Takeaway
With the power-packed but whiff-happy Astros and Orioles squaring off this week, strikeouts were sure to be a-plenty at Minute Maid. Suffice it to say that the Astros’ arms held up their end of the bargain.

After Houston struck out 19 Baltimore batters in the opener and 18 more in the middle match, Lance McCullers took it upon himself to bring his team into record territory. The right-hander was effectively wild Thursday,


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Atlana has odd timing in firing Fredi Gonzalez, Francisco Cervelli shows how much he loves Pittsburgh, and Tony Kemp arrives in Houston.

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So Strasburg is off the market. A couple of the best framers in baseball aren't, and they're not looking for seven years, either.

So, you can’t have Stephen Strasburg.

That’s the reality to which many big-league GMs woke up Tuesday morning, now that Strasburg appears to have agreed to a seven-year deal worth $175 million (or more) with the Nationals. For those among that group who hadn’t gotten their free-agent pitching spending out of the way by now, this is very bad news. Billy Eppler, Brian Cashman, Dan Duquette, Dayton Moore, Neal Huntington, A.J. Preller, and Jerry Dipoto all would have liked the chance to bid on Strasburg this winter, even if most of them run teams unable to realistically meet the asking price he would have been able to set on the open market. Now, they face the unpleasant prospect of improving their pitching staffs for 2017 without having a single ace to chase. It’s perfectly possible that Rich Hill will get the biggest free-agent deal handed out to any starting pitcher in the coming winter.

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20 Ks, y'all, 20 Ks. Also: Good for the Astros, Good for the Giants, Good for the Mariners.

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Is it back to 'Wait until 2017' in Houston?

“From the beginning,” Ted Cruz said, “I’ve said that I would continue on, as long as there was a viable path to victory. Tonight, I’m sorry to say, it appears, that that path has been foreclosed.” He said it slower than you just read it. (Nope, even slower. Try again.) What he was saying, though, was that he no longer had any hope of winning the Republican nomination for President, and so, he was finally giving up. To be sure, Cruz hung in there as long as he could. If his opponent were anyone other than Donald Trump, or if Cruz were anyone other than himself, the pendulum would have swung in one direction or the other long ago, and things would have been decided. As it was, the nomination fight dragged into the spring, allowing Cruz’s capitulation to act as a backdrop (perhaps) for the dying of another Texas dream.

The Astros won Tuesday night. That’s the good news. The bad news, beyond the fact that the win came over the lowly (and even lowlier than we thought, maybe) Twins, is that that win pulled them up to 9-18. The only team in the Wild Card era to make the playoffs after such a start was the remarkable Oakland unit from 2001. That team was streaky: They surged from that 9-18 mark to reach .500 at 22-22, and then treaded water until the halfway point, before finishing a ridiculous 63-18 over the second half of their schedule and racking up 102 wins for the season. Those A’s aren’t really a model you want to count on reproducing, especially given that the league of which they were a part, the league they eventually routed past, was a more polarized, weaker one than the Astros have before them. History says it’s probably too late already, for Houston.

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Is the #process going to suffer the same fate as every other broadly embraced tactic?

The all-out, sell-it-if-it-ain’t-nailed-down, multi-year rebuild is totally in vogue. It seems to be working too. The Royals—whose rebuild appeared to have flopped by 2013—are coming off a World Series Championship and consecutive World Series appearances. The team the Royals defeated in last year’s World Series was none other than the fresh-out-of-a-rebuild (or at least just-not-spending-money) Mets. The Cubs, who lost to the Mets in the 2015 NLCS and who entered the 2016 season with the highest odds (per the odds makers) to win the World Series, appear to be perennial contenders after completely overhauling their roster upon the arrival of team president Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer in 2011. The Astros' drastic rebuild was well documented during their playoff run last year, as is that of the Braves. The Phillies’ rebuild even appears to be going better than planned.

You all, of course, already knew all this, but the point, as maybe unnecessary as it is, is made. It seems that all teams have to do is be diligent about providing a terrible major-league product for several years in order to enjoy success for many years thereafter. For those who have been paying attention, and especially for those who have frustratingly watched their teams stagnate in mediocrity (or worse) for years, the full-rebuild (as we will refer to it here) can appear to not only be a savior, but also optimal strategy.

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