Why everything you thought you knew about Astros' Jeremy Pena is probably wrong

Houston Astros shortstop Jeremy Pena had some huge expectations placed on him in his second big league season after taking home the hardware for ALCS and World Series MVP as a rookie.

And while Pena hasn't taken a big step forward in 2023, several of his stats have improved this season, including his on base percentage and batting average. He's also posted a .330 batting average over his last 30 games and has a slugging percentage over .500 in his last 15 games.

It appears Pena is getting hot at just the right time, with only about a month left in the regular season.

Plus, we can't help but compare Pena to former Astros shortstop Carlos Correa. You might be surprised to learn that Pena currently has a higher OPS and batting average than Correa, and that comes at a fraction of the cost.

Be sure to watch the video above as we discuss Pena's offensive surge over the last month and what we should reasonably expect from him moving forward.

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Listen to The Bench with John Granato and Lance Zierlein weekday mornings on ESPN 97.5 and 92.5 FM.

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After another poor performance from former Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson, the Cleveland Browns' season is starting to look like an uphill climb. Pro Bowl running back Nick Chubb is out for the year, and Cleveland fans aren't too pleased with the way Watson is playing, especially considering the massive contract extension he signed with the team. And we didn't even get to the off the field drama that comes with Watson.

However, Houston fans are invested in the Browns' season outcome as well, with the Texans holding the Browns' first round pick in 2024, and having sent their own first rounder to the Cardinals in the Will Anderson trade.

So each loss for the Browns, means a better draft pick for the Texans!

For Houston, it looks like they have their QB of the future in CJ Stroud. And he'll be on a less expensive rookie contract for the next several years, giving the Texans more cap space to upgrade the roster.

With all of this in mind, is it fair to question if the Texans dodged a bullet when Watson demanded a trade?

DeMeco Ryans vs. Lovie Smith

Plus, we're only two games into the season, but Lovie Smith's defense was much better (with a similar roster) than what DeMeco Ryans' defense has shown thus far, and DeMeco has the benefit of Will Anderson rushing the QB.

Are the struggles on defense more about the roster GM Nick Caserio has put together, or does this slow start fall on DeMeco?

Don't miss the video above as we break it all down!

If you enjoy the videos, subscribe to our new channel SportsMap Texans on YouTube.

And listen to The Bench with John Granato and Lance Zierlein weekday mornings on ESPN 97.5 and 92.5 FM.

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