LANCE ZIERLEIN

Is 2018 Bregman greater than 2017 Altuve?

Alex Bregman is killing it. Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Right off the jump, I feel like I have to tell you that Jose Altuve is the greatest Astro of all-time. I already know that the Biggio and Bagwell fans will get mad at that, but I’ve already made my point in the past and I’m right. All Altuve is waiting for is time to pass before he’s recognized by every Astros fan as the greatest Astro.

His 2017 MVP Award was an incredible stamp on what was an incredible season for the Houston Astros and all of us living vicariously through the most entertaining and likeable team in Houston sports history. Alex Bregman was a huge part of the championship run last year and will find himself in the top 5 voting for MVP this season. However, a look at both players’ performances in wins and losses shows that Bregman might be even more “valuable” to the 2018 Astros than even Altuve was to the 2017 team.

Altuve 2017

Split

 G  

 R  

 H    

 2B 

 3B 

 HR 

 RBI 

 SB 

 BB 

 BA   

 OBP 

 SLG 

 OPS   

in Wins

 94

 91

 140

 31

 4

 14

 59

 23

 40

 .378

 .445

 .597

 1.042

in Losses

 59

 21

 64

 8

 0

 10

 22

 9

 18

 .291

 .350

 .464

 .813

Bregman 2018

Split

 G  

 R  

 H    

 2B 

 3B 

 HR 

 RBI 

 SB 

 BB 

 BA   

 OBP 

 SLG 

 OPS   

in Wins

 83

 72

 108

 37

 1

 19

 64

 6

 54

 .333

 .434

 .630

 1.063

in Losses

 53

 22

 46

 9

 0

 9

 27

 4

 25

 .234

 .330

 .416

 .747

There are still games to be played, but these Astros are on a very similar win pace to last season’s team. The Astros suffered through pitching injuries last season, but the lineup stayed dangerous. Bregman has had to keep things afloat despite injuries to George Springer, Carlos Correa, and even Jose Altuve.

When the team wins, as noted by the stats, Bregman has had a great deal to do with the “W”. And when he doesn’t hit well, they lose. These numbers clearly show how directly responsible Bregman has been for the Astros success this year. Bregman won’t win the MVP and may not even finish in the top 3, but it’s clear that when discussing “valuable”, Bregman deserves to be at the top.

Fantasy Football Sleeper

Keep a close eye on Indianapolis Colts tight end Eric Ebron. There is a better than average chance that he’s on the free agent list of your league unless you are in a deeper (or sharper league). Ebron caught 5 passes for 54 yards and a touchdown with Luck under center in game three of the preseason.

While Ebron never really lived up to the hype in Detroit, the Colts will be relying heavily on their tight ends in their passing game. On top of that, Andrew Luck’s arm strength could be an issue early on so it wouldn’t surprise me to see Ebron challenge for “safety blanket” status for Luck.

 

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Houston loses to end the road trip

Dodgers get best of Odorizzi to split series with Astros

Jake Odorizzi allowed four home runs over three innings against the Dodgers on Wednesday. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images.

After spoiling the night of many Dodgers fans in the opener of this two-game series in Los Angeles the night prior, the Astros returned to the stadium to a fresh set of hostile fans, looking to get the mini-sweep. This one went much more in favor of the home team, though, as the Dodgers would ride three big innings to start the game to the win for the series split.

Final Score: Dodgers 7, Astros 5

Astros' Record: 65-43, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Max Scherzer (9-4)

Losing Pitcher: Jake Odorizzi (4-6)

Odorizzi gets shelled

After a Michael Brantley solo home in the top of the first run against Max Scherzer, making his Dodger debut, it looked like the Astros may continue their momentum from the night before to grab hold of this game as well. However, that all changed in the bottom of the inning, as the Dodgers would tee off against Jake Odorizzi.

In that inning, he allowed four runs, a leadoff solo shot by Mookie Betts, then later a three-run blast by Will Smith. Betts made it 2-for-2 with solo homers in the bottom of the second, extending the lead to 5-1. Things went from bad to worse in the third, with Los Angeles getting their fourth home run, this one for two runs to make it a 7-1 game. Odorizzi would finish the third but go no further.

Scherzer K's 10 over seven innings in his Dodger debut

Houston tried to start clawing back into it in the top of the fourth, getting a second run against Scherzer with a two-out RBI-single by Kyle Tucker, trimming the lead to five runs at 5-2. First out of Houston's bullpen was Yimi Garcia in the bottom of the fourth, and he tossed the first 1-2-3 inning for Houston. Rafael Montero was next in the bottom of the fifth, working around a leadoff double followed by a walk for a scoreless inning.

Montero remained in the game in the bottom of the sixth, still 7-2, and would get another scoreless inning, this time sitting down the Dodgers in order. Scherzer finished his quality debut for his new team in the top of the seventh, erasing a leadoff walk to complete seven innings while allowing two runs.

Astros lose to split the series with Dodgers

Brooks Raley was Houston's next reliever, and he, too, would get through a scoreless inning by erasing a two-out single. In the game-within-the-game, the Dodgers brought in Joe Kelly for the top of the eighth, who notched two strikeouts to bring none other than Carlos Correa to the plate, setting up a rematch of the well-known incident that led to the "pouty face" clip from 2020. Carlos Correa won this round, launching a 405-foot homer off of Kelly to make it a four-run game at 7-3.

Phil Maton kept the score there, stranding two runners in the bottom of the eighth to send the 7-3 game to the top of the ninth, where the Dodgers would bring in Kenley Jansen. After a leadoff single, Kyle Tucker would get the Astros within two runs on a two-run homer, making it 7-5. That's as close as they would get, as Jansen would regroup to get the next three batters out to wrap up the loss for Houston.

Up Next: With this road trip completed, the Astros will have a quick turnaround as they catch a late flight back to Houston then turn around with a game Thursday at 7:10 PM Central to open a four-game series with the Twins. Framber Valdez (7-2, 3.01 ERA) will take the mound for Houston in the opener, while Minnesota will counter with Griffin Jax (1-1, 6.41 ERA).

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