Astros Road to 90 is Still Alive

Baseball is a funny game.  Yes it can be funny haha but in this context funny being weird.  The Houston Astros vs AL West intrastate rival Texas Rangers look like a bad JV team vs the Varsity State Champs.  I mean 3 – 13 in 2016.  That’s horrible.  However when I look at the Astros and the Rangers against the rest of the league they are very close.  Actually the Astros come out a tiny bit ahead of the Rangers.  Let me explain.  138 games into the season Houston is 74-64.  Remove the dismal 3-13 record vs the Rangers and Astros sitting at 71-51.  The Rangers having played the same 138 games and are 82-56, second best record in the Majors, THANKS TO THE ASTROS!  Whew settle down.  Ok so remove the 13-3 record from the Rangers and they are left with 69-53.  2 games behind the Astros.  Crazy isn’t it.  Fuzzy Math you might say.  Pun intended since in  October of 2000  George W Bush, former owner of the Rangers, called out Al Gore’s economic figures as fuzzy math.  Ok enough on politics this is Sports Talk.  So one could argue the Houston Astros are a better team than the Texas Rangers versus the entire major leagues.  But that argument likely to fall as short as Al Gore did in the Presidential Election.  Oh oh there went another political comment.  Anyway it don’t work that way.  You can be horrible against a bad team but if you have the most total wins you get the title.  SCOREBOARD!  So what else is The Houston Astros to do?  Get to 90 that’s what.  Get to 90 and very likely the dismal record versus the Rangers will not matter.  Other than if the Astros are fortunate enough to 1 get to the wild card game and win it their likely opponent will be the RANGERS! What ever happen to the wild card not playing round one within their division.  Well sorry to say that has been gone since the inception of the 1 game payoff began in 2012.  From 1994 to 2011 only 1 wild card was in the post season and prior to that only division leaders.  So I suppose beggars can’t be chooser here right.

So here is my good math not that fuzzy stuff shhhh.   162 games in a season with 138 played  so that leaves 24 games to go.  Good math right.  162-138=24  Back check me with a calculator if you need to.  Here is the opponents Houston has left on the schedule and the number of games to play against that opponent and the 2016 win percentage against that opponent.  Sounds like a Jr High School Word problem.  Cleveland 2 @ .750, Chicago Cubs  3 no games in 2016 so I will use the home record of .574 , TEXAS 3 @ .188, Seattle 6 @ .615, Oakland 3 @ .625, Los Angles Angels 7 @ .917.  If you want to do all those numbers long hand you will get 15.440 games won = 89.440.  Well that isn’t possible so certain series will round up and down.  The 3 games versus TEXAS in Minute Maid Park will be the story.  If Houston gets swept at home by the Rangers then perhaps post season shouldn’t be awarded.  Although we established earlier head to head means nothing its total WINS! Remember SCOREBOARD!  So here it is my prediction in writing.

Cleveland 2 1-1, Cubs 3 2-1, TEXAS 3 1-2, Seattle 6 4-2, Oakland 3 2-1, Angels 7 6-1

That my friends is the Astros Road to 90 W’s.  I have been preaching this since the dismal start in April of 7-17.

GEAUX ‘Stros

Glynn Parent

Always Think Baseball

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Contest ⚾️⚾️Contest ⚾️⚾️

Enter Before 7pm Friday September 2nd. No Cost. Invite your friends to always think baseball Facebook page or the website

https://www.facebook.com/Always-Think-Baseball-559495980902589/?hc_ref=PAGES_TIMELINE&fref=nf
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Winner receives an Astros Orange Always Think Baseball Dri Fit T-Shirt.

I am hosting an Astros Predictions Contest for the upcoming 13 games versus all first place teams in their respective divisions.

Rules all predictions based on record after game(s) September 14th. In case of rain out your prediction will be converted to a win percentage and compared to actual win percentage of actual games played. Make up double headers count and makeups after September 14th do not apply. Any game start prior to 11:59 pm September 14th counts. Limit one entry per person. No age limit on applicant. Smallest shirt size Youth Medium.

Predict the Astros record (wins – loses) over the next 13 games.
Example (7-6)

First tie breaker predict the Astros position in the wild card race at the end of the first 13 games in September as reported by MLB standings. Currently Astros are (4th) behind Boston Baltimore and Detroit.

Second Tie breaker games back or front of the wild card. Currently Astros are -1. So a +1 would be leading the wild card standings a 0 is possession of the 2nd wild card and a – # is amount of games behind the 2nd wild card spot. Exactly as reflected on MLB standings web page.

You can enter by posting your prediction on always think baseball Facebook page comments to this post, PM, or email: alwaysthinkbaseball@gmail.com
Just for grins list your favorite Astros player on the current roster and your favorite all time Astros player.
Here is what My entry will look like. Copy if you like and post your numbers.

Record 7-6
Wild Card Position 3
Games Front/Back -2

Current Colby Rasmus and Alex Bregman

All Time Craig Biggio

Have fun with this!⚾️!⚾️!⚾️
Always Think Baseball

AlwaysThinkBaseballDriFitT_AstroOrange

Is 13 A Lucky Number? Astros Sure hope So

A bakers dozen isn’t so bad right.  Well the next 13 games for the Astros isn’t going to be a box doughnuts.  It will be tougher than a bag of day old delights   It will be all firsts.   All firsts you might ask.  Yep all firsts.  The next 4 series opponents for the Houston Astros are all in first place of their respective divisions.  A 3 game series in Arlington against American League (AL) West Division leading Texas Rangers then travel to Cleveland to face the AL Central leading Indians for a 4 game series.  If that isn’t tough enough MLB schedulers award the Astros with a six game home stand, 3 against the Best Record in Baseball.  The  National League (NL) Central Chicago Cubs.  To continue this saga a 3 game series home rematch vs the Texas Rangers. I’m thinking if the Astros come out of these 13 games still in the playoff hunt just call off the post season and award the Astros the World Championship.  I mean heck they playing against the best records in both leagues including 7 of 13 on the road.  That’s World Series Caliber Scheduling.

With a strong recent home stand of 5-1 gives the Astros 71 wins with 29 games to go.  19 wins or .655 ball gets a total of 90 wins and a very legitimate shot of home field advantage in the wild card game.  However .655 ball over these next 13 games isn’t practical.  .500 ball would be nice.  Rounding up would be 7 and 6 over this 13 game stretch will require a 12 and 4 record the last 16 a .750 win percentage. Believe it or not the 7 and 6 run vs those first place opponents will be more impressive than the 12 and 4 vs The Oakland A’s, Los Angeles Angels and Seattle Mariners.  7 of the last 16 games are at home 9 on the road.

My prediction is the Astros don’t make it to 90 wins.  I’m going with 87 wins.  Following the splits above I predict 5 and 8 on the 13 game stretch vs division leaders and 11 and 5 for the homestretch.  It will take a fall from Detroit and Baltimore for Houston to meet Boston in the wild card game played in Boston is my best prediction outcome for Houston.  Make the post season and count your lucky stars, all 13 of them.  Miss by one and the discussion of the one that got away will prevail.  I have a list of a few games to bring into that conversation if warranted.

September Baseball is Here.  PLAY BALL!!!!

Glynn Parent

www.alwaysthinkbaseball.com

 

September Baseball is in our Sights

As a baseball fan September baseball is very exciting.  Out of town scoreboard watching at ball games and social media updates are frequented with much more focus.  As a Houston Astros fan the September Baseballitis is already on us.  In my tweets and blogs during the season I mention the road to 90 wins.  Mainly because that’s the invisible line that typically puts a ball club in the post season or at least in the hunt without too much help required from other clubs.  The Houston Astros keep saying and or accepting winning each series as acceptable.  While in theory that proclamation is more than good enough.  If over a full season with most series being 3 games that gives a club a .667 win percentage = to 108 games.  This win percentage is not very likely, being that it has only been achieved 11 times since 1909.  Without diverting too much focus away from the 2016 wild card race, because I tend to do that when historical milestones come out.  Here is a link to what I consider a very good article on each of these 11 teams listed in order of the number of wins along with post season outcome and individual player accomplishments.

http://www.newsday.com/sports/baseball/mlb-s-winningest-seasons-1.3077797

As of  today August 28th the American League (AL) Wild Card is legitimately 7 teams deep.  Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays keep battling for division lead but for now Toronto has the lead.  Boston heads the list of the wild card hopefuls followed by the Baltimore Orioles, Detroit Tigers, Houston Astros, Seattle Mariners, Kansas City Royals and the New York Yankees rounding off the list at 3.5 games back of Boston.

October 2nd being closing day of regular season with most teams having about 32 games over  the 35 remaining days.  Houston is in the middle of the pack listed with 68 wins at 2.5 games back of the Orioles and 33 games remaining.  The 2 out of 3 aint bad, comme dier Meatloaf, philosophy will mathematically put the Astros a 90 wins.  However winning every series down the stretch isn’t practical due to two series with AL West Division Leader Texas Ranger and a road series vs AL East Division Leader Cleveland Indians, therefore a sweep or two will be inevitable.  Like today vs the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.  Houston needs to be in September Baseball Mode but I don’t see it being handled that way.  For starters AJ Reed at first base dosn’t give Houston their best chance for victory.  I get it, the big dude has a lot of potential.  The rotten truth is Reed isn’t playing to that potential now.  TeOscar Hernandez in left field and Marwin Gonzales at first base is a better chance at victory in my opinion.

Baltimore has perhaps a tougher September starting now vs Toronto followed by the Yankees, Detroit, 2 series with Boston , than on the road to Toronto and the New York Yankees.  Detroit schedule a bit softer but do have series with Baltimore, Kansa City and Cleveland.

The National League (NL) Wild Card has a similar see saw division contest going on in the NL West between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants. Dodgers lead for now with the Giants holding top spot in the NL Wild Card followed by St. Louis Cardinals Pittsburgh Pirates, Miami Marlins and the New York Mets.  By the looks of it, the 2015 World Series Foes Royals and the Mets are on the bubble of even making the post season.  I wouldn’t count either of them out hence they are listed in this article.  Royals hottest team in baseball 16 wins in last 20 games.  Mets playing .600 ball of late.

Cardinals have two with the Cubs and two with the Pirates including the last 3 games of the season.  The Pirates end August vs the Cubs, than have series vs. Cardinals,  NL East Division Leader Washington Nationals, 4 game series vs Cubs than end their season at the Cardinals. The Marlins have an extremely tough schedule in front of them.  The Mets, AL East Division Leader Cleveland Indians, Dodger, Nationals, Mets again and end at the Nationals. The New York Mets start with Marlins, followed by 2 series with the Nationals, meet the Marlins once again and end up in Philadelphia.

Time will tell, that’s why they play the game on the diamond vs on paper.  As the September games progress I will update you on www.alwaysthinkbaseball.com

MLB Wild Card Standings link below.

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/standings/wildcard.jsp

 

 

Correa and Gattis Counter Mahtook in Bottom of the 9th

Bottom  of 9th coming off  what was a 3-3 tied ballgame prior to Tampa Bay Devil Ray LSU Product Mikie Mahtook taking Ken Giles 97 mph heater and making a train wreck with it giving the Devil Rays a 4-3 lead.  Literally I mean this bomb landed on the train track at Minute Maid Park.  Open roof and this ball likely finds Crawford street.  But that doesn’t dampen these young Astros hitters.  Carlos Correa lives and  breathes for these moments.  And for the Astros Correa leads off the bottom of the 9th.  And yes just like in the story book Corrrea goes opposite field into the seats for a tied ballgame 4-4.  You cant script this stuff any better than this wonderful game called Baseball unfolds naturally.  Next up is the lumber jack Evan Gattis.  Gattis I might add performs better at the plate when playing the position behind the plate.  And like Correa spot as lead off in the bottom of the 9th we have Gattis at the plate as a catcher not as a DH.  The stars in the baseball universe have lined up for AJ Hinch in this scenario.  Now all the Astros need is the Devil Rays to not be in some super hero mode and saw down the lumber jack.  Well the lumber jack conquered all as he battled from an unfavorable count and foul off pitches until he was able to get a 3-2 count.  Rays closer decided to challenge Gattis and lost the challage. Gattis adds to the debris on and near the track with a bomb of his own.  In this case a walk off smash that the 25 man roster met Gattis at the plate for his traditional walk off mobbing and bath with the Astros favorite flavored thirst quencher.  Astros win 5-4 in a game that had 4 homeruns hit.  Wow How Cool is That!

Mikie Mahtook Took the Top of 9th of a tied 3-3 Ballgame into his on Hands

Tampa Bay Devil Rays Mahtook early in the ballgame one hope the fence in right center, Mahtook runs well and that was on display during this play but Astros Centerfielder Marisnick runs well and has a plus arm.  Marisnick gets to the ball quickly and makes a great throw to Short Stop Carlos Correa on laces a relay throw to 3rd Baseman Alex Bregman who gloves the short hop as Mahtook is head first sliding into 3rd Bregman smoothly applies the tag right in front of 3rd base umpire signaling out.  What a gret hustling play on both ends of the ball.  Very well executed by the Astros or Mahtook has a lead off triple.  1 out nobody one vs 0 outs and a runner on 3rd.  Huge Difference!

Dorthy Just Clicked Her Heels. Rangers Tell Gomez this A’int Houston is it GoGo

Unbelievable! If you are a Houston Astros fan this will upset you!  I am and it made me sick!  Carlos Gomez in his FIRST AB actually his FIRST SWING of the bat knocks the ball out of the park.  A 2 out 2 on situation in a scoreless ball game.  Dang It Man, I just cant believe what my eyes told my brain.  I am not upset with Carlos Gomez I am upset with the Houston Astros front office and coaching staff.  If Gomez resurrects his season in Arlington that will speak volumes for why the Astros, other than Jose Altuve and the just getting started Alex Bregman, struggle at the plate.  Is it from the top down? Is it the Hitting Coach?  Is it the Manager AJ Hinch?  I don’t know but I would be looking for that answer if I were in the Astros Organization.  Sure its 1 at bat, sure its 1 swing.  That is what the Astros new Gomez was capable of .  That’s why the Astros traded for Gomez with Milwaukee Brewers even after the New York Mets passed on Gomez due to not passing a physical with the Mets Medical Staff.  Unbelievable is still about all I can say.  That is of words suitable for print.

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Glynn Parent Jr.

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