The Astros were off last night and start a three-game series in Oakland tonight. They're still 11-5.
*Since the beginning of 2015, the Astros are 23-15 at Oakland. They're 27-14 against Oakland in general since the beginning of 2017.
*Other notable stats during this 9-game winning streak:
-The Astros are 4-0 in one-run games.
-Six of the nine wins have been decided by 1-2 runs.
-Astros pitchers have walked 4+ batters in five of these wins, including an 8BB game on April 7 (the Altuve Walk-Off Walk game). The last time the Astros won a game in which they walked 8+ batters was on June 9, 2018 against the Rangers. They're 4-6 when they walk 8+ batters since the beginning of 2015. I thought that number would be more drastic than it is. How the hell do you win four out of ten when you issue eight walks? This team is witchcraft.
-The last time that Ryan Pressly allowed a run in the regular season: August 10, 2018. That's a 27-record 27 regular season appearances without allowing a run. That's 25.2IP, 11H/0ER, 35K:3BB.
*Richard Justice notes that Altuve and Correa are healthy and happy.
*The Astros don't use an opener, but SI's Tom Verducci writes about Houston's ultra-modern pitching staff. Verducci:
Some people may still need reminding, but the 1990s are over. Starting pitching no longer requires the volume it did two decades ago. The latest example: Baseball's best team is doing quite well after losing three pitchers who started more than half their games last year.
*Buster Olney and Tim Kurkjian talked about the Astros' winning streak on yesterday's Baseball Tonight podcast.
*Aledmys Diaz and Yuli Gurriel talked to Chandler Rome about the Cuba/MLB deal that was recently scuttled by the White House.
*Five years ago the Dodgers acquired Former Astros Great Enrique Hernandez. Here's The Athletic's Pedro Moura on how Hernandez went from $327 paychecks to sleeping in closets to the Dodgers' starting 2B.
*Jonah Keri has the Astros at #2 in his excellent Power Rankings rundown, and Collin McHugh is the reason.
*On the centennial celebration of Jackie Robinson, MLB is trying to figure out how to appeal to more African-Americans.
Check out some of Sports Illustrated's best stories on Jackie Robinson:
"The Breakthrough" by William Nack.
"A Home Run For the Ages" by Brad Herzog
"Recalling Jackie Robinson Through the Eyes of a Teammate" by Nicholas Dawidoff.
"And Then the Barrier Broke" by Jay Jaffe.
"Robinson Was Safe" - 1955.
"What Jackie Robinson Means To Me" by Jimmy Rollins
*Literally no one asked for this #OnHere but here's how things shake out in the race for the 2nd Automatic Promotion race in the Championship, with my beloved Leeds United:
2. Leeds (82 points)
Friday: vs. #21 Wigan (Leeds won 2-1, previous matchup)
April 22: @ #14 Brentford (1-1 draw, previous matchup)
April 28: vs. #5 Aston Villa (Leeds won 3-2, previous matchup)
3. Sheffield United (79 points)
Friday: vs. #11 Nottingham Forest (Forest won 1-0, previous matchup)
April 22: @ #9 Hull City (Sheffield won 1-0, previous matchup)
April 27: vs. #24 Ipswich Town (1-1 draw, previous matchup)
You get three points for a win and one point for a draw. If Sheffield United slips up in one of the next two games, that huge matchup between Leeds United and Aston Villa might not matter. I'm going to die.
*Fire gutted Notre Dame de Paris yesterday, but some of it was saved.
*BBC: The Footballer, the Saudi Prince, and the Proposition.
*A Musical Selection: