Let's discuss the top 5 reasons for the Astros' recent success

Kyle Tucker has improved tremendously at the plate. Composite image by Jack Brame.

The Astros finished the week with a 5-2 record and back-to-back series victories over the Boston Red Sox and the Toronto Blue Jays.

As it currently stands, Houston has a 33-26 record, one game behind the Oakland A's for first place in the American League West.

The Astros recent success can be attributed to both starting pitching and great offensive stretches by certain players.

Zack Greinke is showcasing he is still a legitimate ace for this pitching staff. On Friday he tossed his first complete game since April 19, 2017 and seems to be settling into a nice groove as the season progresses. The veteran pitcher has a 6-2 record with a 3.38 ERA and has only given up two runs in back-to-back starts, as he continues to prove he is one of the best pitchers in the league. With Greinke at the top of this rotation, Houston has a pitcher they can rely on to go at least six or more innings in every start.

After starting his season with a 0-3 record, Astros' pitcher Luis Garcia has earned a victory in his last five starts. Garcia has a 1.82 ERA during that span and has proven he fits right into this rotation. On Sunday, he pitched six innings of work for his third consecutive start and lowered his ERA to 2.75 for the season. Garcia was a spot starter filling in for Framber Valdez and Jake Odorizzi when they were on the injured list. Little did the Astros know that this spot starter would turn into one of their most formidable pitchers of the year.

Chas McCormick has hit safely in seven of his last eight starts, batting .250 (7-for-28) with three extra-base hits and six RBIs over that span. The fourth outfielder has played well in the absence of Michael Brantley and has proven he can be a contributing factor for the Astros in the field and at the plate as well.

Kyle Tucker and Myles Straw have improved tremendously at the plate. Tucker is batting .354 (35-for-99) with seven doubles, a triple, six homers and 21 RBIs in his last 25 games. He has drastically improved after starting the month of May with a .173 batting average and leads the team with 11 homer runs. Straw has steadily been increasing his average as well. On May 1st, he was hitting .213, but now has a .242 average. The Astros already have a stout lineup with Jose Atluve, Carlos Correa, Yordan Alvarez, Alex Bregman and Yuli Gurriel. If they can get great production from both Tucker and Straw on a consistent basis, the sky is the limit for this offense.

Injury bug

Aledmys Diaz was hit by a pitch that subsequently fractured his hand. He will miss 6-8 weeks according to reports, but the move comes when Michael Brantley is set to return to the Astros on Tuesday, June 8th. Brantley's bat returning to the lineup will help the Astros tremendously and could further emphasize just how potent this offense could be. Before the veteran outfielder went on the 10-day injured list, he had a .305 batting average with three home runs and 15 RBIs. Slotting him back into the second spot in the Astros batting order will do nothing but enhance this already tremendous offense.

Up Next: The Astros head to Boston to play their final series of the season against the Red Sox on Tuesday.

Framber Valdez, Jake Odorizzi, and Zack Greinke should take the mound for the Astros this series.

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After Yordan Alvarez suffered an injury on Thursday from colliding into Jeremy Peña in short left field, many fans and media are questioning whether Alvarez should DH exclusively to keep injuries like this from happening.

While this may prevent injuries from happening in left field, there are numerous ways of getting hurt, such as running the bases, and we saw Alvarez miss some time recently with a hand injury from swinging the bat.

Plus, playing Yordan in left where he's at least an average outfielder, allows veterans like Michael Brantley and Jose Altuve to slide in the DH spot to get some much-needed rest over the course of the season. And there's an argument being made that Yordan is better at the plate when he's playing the field.

Be sure to check out the video above as we debate this hot topic!

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