Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The 2014 Astros after 45 Games

Let's play a quick game and compare two teams after 45 games.

Team A: Runs Scored 166, Runs Against 216, Pythagorean wins: 17
Team B: Runs Scored 162, Runs Against 206, Pythagorean wins: 18

Team A is (obviously) your 2014 Houston Astros.  Currently, they are sitting on a record in line with their pythagorean win percentage, at 17-28.

Team B??  It was the most successful Astros team in history, at least in terms of post-season results. 

After 45 games, the 2005 Astros were (a well-publicised) 15-30, and had scored 162 runs for versus 206 against.

Player by Player??  The 2005 team leaders per-position triple-slash by position, with Fangraphs' end of season WAR on the right:

Brad Ausmus           .258/.351/.331         0.7 
1B Lance Berkman        .293/.411/.524         3.0
2B Craig Biggio         .264/.325/.468         2.6
3B Morgan Ensberg       .283/.388/.557         6.1
SS Adam Everett         .248/.290/.364         2.1
LF Chris Burke          .248/.309/.368         1.2
CF Willy Taveras        .291/.325/.341         2.2
RF Jason Lane           .267/.316/.499         0.9

The 2014 Edition?? Again, the team leaders triple-slash, with Fangraphs' WAR thus far, multiplied x4 for simplicity.

C Jason Castro          .216/.307/.396         2.4
1B Jesus Guzman         .220/.281/.329         0.4
2B Jose Altuve          .301/.347/.409         3.2
3B Matt Dominguez       .258/.318/.445         2.0
SS Jonathan Villar      .233/.287/.429         2.4
LF Alex Presley         .223/.243/.350        -2.0
CF Dexter Fowler        .267/.375/.393         2.0
RF George Springer      .235/.313/.365        -1.6

The 2005 Astros, however, were obviously built on their otherworldly starting pitching (at least the front three.  To wit (ERA, xFIP, Fangraphs WAR):

Roy Oswalt         2.94     3.43     5.6
Andy Pettitte      2.39     3.15     5.4
Roger Clemens      1.87     3.31     5.6
Brandon Backe      4.76     4.81     0.8
Wandy Rodriguez    5.53     4.57     0.2

And the 2014 Astros current starting rotation (again, WAR multiplied by 4 for simplicity):

Scott Feldman      2.63     4.43     1.2
Jarred Cosart      4.41     4.53     0.8
Collin McHugh      3.48     3.44     3.2
Dallas Keuchal     3.06     2.80     4.8
Brad Peacock       4.80     4.49     0.0

I am not even going to try and compare the bullpens, lest I dissolve into tears.

Now, I don't think for a minute that the 2014 Houston Astros are going to go 74-43 the rest of the way (as the 2005 edition did), and make the World Series, but it is interesting to compare the two teams to this point. But the 2014 edition was not as bad as the month of April made them look, which is something shared with the 2005 team.  

Very basic analysis and arbitrary end-points, I know, but it is important to remember that just over one-quarter of the season is done, and anything can happen from here (including the Astros getting worse!)

And, man, wasn't 2005 Morgan Ensberg something!!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Its almost depressing to see what our worse hitters, like Ausmus and Ensberg's averages were like, and think I would take that average in a heartbeat now.