A 2-5 homestand against the Toronto Blue Jays and Texas Rangers has significantly dropped the Houston Astros odds of making the playoffs to just 16.2 percent according to FanGraphs.
After destroying the Los Angeles Angels in a three-game set in late July, the Astros have since gone just 3-10, scoring just 31 runs over that time period. They now stand 7.5 games out of the AL West lead and 4.0 games out of the 2nd AL Wild Card spot.
It’s the offense that has failed the Astros lately. Besides for Jose Altuve and the occasional Carlos Correa hit, the offense has struggled. Newbies Alex Bregman and A.J. Reed have been terrible (though maybe have recently started to turn it around). George Springer has struggled mightily lately. Evan Gattis, Colby Rasmus, Carlos Gomez when healthy have been atrocious. Marwin Gonzalez and Luis Valbuena have been hurt. The offense has a whole has stunk.
The frustration from fans is visible all over #AstrosTwitter and you know the team isn’t happy with their performances. They’ve wasted great pitching recently, including a fantastic 7-inning, 1-run performance by Joe Musgrove making his first career start. They fought back to the tie Sunday’s game in the bottom of the 9th only to lose a few innings later.
After an unbelievable run of no big injuries in the first half of the season, the Astros haven’t been able to stymie the injury bug. Valbuena’s absence from the lineup has been detrimental to the team’s success. He’s clearly a key cog in the 5 hole. Staff ace Lance McCullers Jr.’s injury also hurts the staff in a major way. Gonzalez, Gomez and Rasmus’ injuries also hinder A.J. Hinch’s ability to maneuver within a game with a thin bench.
It was a terrible seven days for the Astros. They needed to come out of it with a winning record, and at least two wins against the Rangers. Instead, they come out way worse than they came into the homestand and won’t have much time to make up their deficits.
The good news is that there’s still a month and a half to go. Valbuena should be coming back in a week or two and Yulieski Gurriel should be arriving around the same time. Those two bats, along with improvement from Bregman and Reed could help ignite a playoff run.
Only time will tell but the Astros have the talent to make a run. But is it too little too late? We’ll see, soon.
Click here for all the latest on the Astros.