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Houston Astros Projected to Win Most Games in 2019 MLB Season

Bryan Thiel

by Bryan Thiel in MLB Baseball

Updated Mar 27, 2020 · 3:06 PM PDT

Jose Altuve and Yuli Gurriel of the Houston Astros
Jose Altuve and Yuli Gurriel helped the Houston Astros become 2018 World Series favorites. Can they do it again? Photo by Keith Allison (Flickr)
  • The Houston Astros have Major League Baseball’s highest projected win total with 96.5
  • They are closely followed by the by New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox
  • Will the Houston Astros go over or under 96.5?

Over the last four seasons, the Houston Astros have steadily evolved into one of the best teams in baseball.

They are a year removed from winning the World Series, and are coming off of back-to-back 100-win seasons. That’s the first time they’ve done that in franchise history.

Now, their over/under for wins is set at an MLB-best 96.5. Do the Astros have it in them to top it again?

Top 5 2019 MLB Win Totals

Team 2018 Record Avg Wins last 3 Yrs Win Total Odds
Houston Astros 103-59 96.0 96.5 -115o/-115u
Boston Red Sox 108-54 98.0 95.5 -115o/-115u
New York Yankees 100-62 91.6 95.5 -115o/-115u
Los Angeles Dodgers 92-71 95.6 94.5 -115o/-115u
Cleveland Indians 91-71 95.6 90.5 -115o/-115u

Houston Astros are Set in the Field

When you look at the Astros defensively, there aren’t very many holes. Max Stassi won’t turn heads at the plate, but he’s a good defensive catcher who will spell Robinson Chirinos.

There may be no better infield in the league than Alex Bregman, Carlos Correa, and Jose Altuve. Yuli Gurriel was the first basemen, but he’s expected to take on a utility role. If that doesn’t work, he could easily slide back over.

In the outfield, George Springer headlines the group, while Tony Kemp is a versatile piece that can move around. Michael Brantley and Josh Reddick will man the corners and, provided good health, round out the outfield.

Houston Astros’ offense Will Continue to Hit

Assuming good health for Bradley and Reddick, the offense shouldn’t fall off for the Astros. Houston was top 10 in most offensive statistics last year. And that includes a career-low 137 games from Altuve, and just 110 out of Correa.

Their biggest hole offensively is at 1B/DH and catcher. Chirinos has 35 home runs over the last two years, but that hasn’t stopped Houston from being in on Marlins star JT Realmuto. He would put them over the top.

It may also help at DH, where it could be the Tyler White show. In 2016, White played 88 games, slugged eight home runs with 28 RBI, while hitting just .217.

Since then, he’s only played 88 games in two years. But in those 88 games? 15 homers and 52 RBI while hitting .278. The 28-year old is likely the leader for the 1B/DH job, as AJ Reed has yet to prove he’s worthy of staying in the majors.

It All Comes Down to Pitching for Houston Astros

Then we get to the pitching staff. This is what will define their season. Specifically the starters. Justin Verlander is defying the odds at age 35. Until he shows us otherwise, don’t expect a drop off.

Following him, Gerrit Cole and Collin McHugh give them a solid top three. But then it’s Josh James and Framber Valdez, who are untested at the MLB level. There’s also top prospect Forrest Whitley, who has thrown just 41 innings in AA.

Astros Pitching Prospects Stats

Josh James 6/3 2-0 29/7 2.35 0.96
Framber Valdez 8/5 4-1 34/24 2.19 1.24
Forrest Whitley* 45/38 7-10 239/58 3.14 1.15

*All stats are from minor league career

That may not be enough to get it done.

This could all change if the Astros decide to give free agent pitcher Dallas Keuchel whatever he wants to come back. He’s their best solution.

Will the Houston Astros Go Over or Under 96.5 Wins?

Right now, with this starting staff, I think the Astros go under. That doesn’t make them a Wild Card team or means they’re going to miss the playoffs, but it’ll be tough to hit that 96.5.

The A’s will still be good, but the AL West still belongs to the Astros.

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