5 important stats that speak volumes about the Astros

Ryan Pressly leads the team with a 1.69 ERA. Composite image by Jack Brame.

Last week the Astros swept the Orioles and split a series with the Detroit Tigers 2-2.

While in Baltimore, Houston out scored the orange birds by a combined margin of 26-3. The largest run differential of the season against any opponent. The Astros have a +142 run differential this season, the best in baseball by far.

Houston was riding an 11-game winning streak before the start of Saturday's doubleheader against the Tigers. Detroit won the first game 3-1 snapping the streak.

Even though their streak ended, the Astros still remain in first place in the American League with a 48-30 record.

Houston's winning ways have come on the heels of great offensive numbers, starting pitchers improving, a much better bullpen, and stellar play from a couple of potential All-Stars.

Seven Astros advanced to the second phase of the MLB All-Star voting process on Sunday.

Houston's entire starting infield (Yuli Gurriel, Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and Alex Bregman) finished in the top three of their respective positions, along with designated hitter Yordan Alvarez and catcher Martin Maldonado.

Michael Brantley advanced as well, but outfielder Kyle Tucker just missed the cut finishing 10th in fan voting among outfielders in the American League.

Starting pitching has been improving as the season progresses. Jake Odorizzi, Zack Greinke, Jose Urquidy and Lance McCullers all earned wins this week. Houston has been using a 6-man rotation with the aforementioned pitchers and both Luis Garcia and Framber Valdez to round out the rotation. This configuration could work well for the Astros moving forward.

After getting off to a rocky start, the Astros bullpen has been steadily improving over their last couple of games. Over their last 27 games, Houston has the best bullpen ERA at 2.63. Ryan Pressly leads the team with a 1.69 ERA and has become one of the most reliable closers in the league with 12 saves.

Myles Straw has show the most improvement over the last two months. On May 1st, Straw had a .213 batting average and was more or less just trying to prove he belongs on this roster. Now the center fielder has a .270 batting average with 2 home runs and has improved substantially as an outfielder.

Up Next: Houston starts a short three game home stand against the Baltimore Orioles, before a 4-game road trip to Cleveland to face the Indians during 4th of July weekend.

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