Thu 19/03/2015 - 03:29 EDT

Houston Astros 2015 Season Preview

Houston Astros 2015 Season Preview
With the electric Jose Altuve leading the charge, and a lineup built to hit a lot of home runs, the Astros look to move out of the American League basement and climb back into baseball relevancy in 2015.

Futures

Odds To Win Division: +1600

Odds To Win AL Pennant: 28/1

Odds To Win World Series: 50/1

Regular Season Win Total: 74.5

Most Significant Offseason Changes

Biggest Additions:

Jed Lowrie, SS

Luke Gregerson, RP

Colby Rasmus, CF

Evan Gattis, C/LF

Pat Neshek, RP

Biggest Losses:

Jesse Crain, RP

Dexter Fowler, CF

Jose Veras, RP

Jesus Guzman, 1B

They’ll Be Successful If…

With the American League leader in batting average, stolen bases and hits, the Astros have one of the most dynamic players in Jose Altuve. The lineup for the Astros should be hitting em’ out of the park all season long. Entering the 2014 season, Altuve made the jump from average to elite. Batting .341 and stealing 56 bases, Altuve is the perfect combination of speed and discipline and will help lead the Astros to their first winning season since 2008. Astro fans should be excited to see a lineup, that if nothing else, will be hitting the long ball frequently this season. The Astros ranked 4th in the MLB with 163 home runs in 2014, and with the addition of Evan Gattis and Colby Rasmus, that number will increase (200 or more is within reason this season). Gattis and Rasmus join George Springer and Chris Carter to fill out the 3 to 6 spots in the lineup. With all players having the potential to hit 20+ home runs, the Astros will be able to score runs in a flurry.

They’ll Be Unsuccessful If…

Outside of Altuve, the Astros will struggle to hit for average. The Astros had the worst bullpen in the Majors in 2014. The Astros starting lineup features a bunch of players who cannot do much else besides hit home runs. George Springer (20 home runs in 78 games) and Chris Carter (37 home runs in 145 games), both batted right around a not-very-impressive .230. With Dexter Fowler moving to the Windy City, only two returning Astros batted better than .240 in 2014. Without a sizeable improvement in batting average, the Astros will be hitting a lot of solo shots in 2015. The Astros had the worst bullpen last season, posting an ERA 4.80. The addition of Luke Gregerson should shore up the closer spot, but the rest of the bullpen still remains a big question mark. With the Astros bullpen being so porous, they may be forced to use their final roster spot on an extra reliever instead of a positional player, leading to less team depth and increased bullpen volatility.      

Fantasy Bargain Player: Jon Singleton, 1B

After completing his rookie season with a dreadful .168 batting average and nearly 1.5 strikeouts per game, Singleton should make the right improvements in 2015 to warrant a spot on your fantasy roster. Singleton definitely has some power to his swing, with 50% of his hits in 2014 either being doubles or home runs. With an improvement in plate discipline and more depth in the lineup, Singleton should see an all around improvement in 2015.     

Outlook

The Astros have the potential to exceed expectations in 2015. If the Astros can get more men on base and the bullpen can make even a slight improvement, the Astros could very well post 80 wins for only the third time since 2005.

Prediction: 4th In AL West

Category : Archives

Tag : Astros , baseball , Houston Astros , Houston Astros 2015 Season Preview , mlb

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