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The Astros have a better record than the Red Sox and Rays

Jun 10, 2014, 8:23 AM EDT

Astros celebrate AP

Here’s where the team that has lost 100+ games for three straight years stands compared to the defending World Champions and a Tampa Bay team which has averaged 91.6 wins over the past six seasons:

  • Houston Astros: 29-36, .446 winning pct.
  • Boston Red Sox: 28-35, .444 winning pct.
  • Tampa Bay Rays: 24-41, .369 winning pct.

This comes as the Rays have skidded, the Red Sox have, with the exception of one nice week, skidded pretty badly themselves and as the Astros have won 12 of their last 16. So yes, we’re seeing the Astros at their absolute best and the Sox and Rays at their worst.

Personally, I think the Sox are a clearly better team than either of them in terms of talent and potential for the rest of the season and I would be utterly shocked if they don’t finish with a significantly better record than Houston does. But man, it’s weird and kinda neat to see stuff like this. At least if you’re not a Red Sox fan.

  1. mikeflorioisaredskin - Jun 10, 2014 at 8:32 AM

    Go stros!!
    #summerofspringer
    #bombsquad
    #fumikeflorio #httr

    • historiophiliac - Jun 10, 2014 at 10:05 AM

      Your handle is an embarrassment to Astros fans and baseball. Jerk.

      • Hard On For Harden - Jun 10, 2014 at 2:55 PM

        Second this. In bandwagon cities like Houston (I’m a Houstonian and not knocking it, this is just pretty true), it’s always the dopes that come out of the woodwork thumping their chests and putting the cart before the horse.

    • historiophiliac - Jun 10, 2014 at 1:48 PM

  2. largebill - Jun 10, 2014 at 8:33 AM

    “Personally, I think the Sox are a clearly better team than either of them in terms of talent and potential for the rest of the season and I would be utterly shocked if they don’t finish with a significantly better record than Houston does.”

    Be prepared to be utterly shocked. Boston may end up with a better record, but no way it is significantly better. Houston has some talent. I would take their outfield over Boston’s. I said prior to the season that people predicting another 100 loss season for them were merely looking at last year instead of this year. Also, depth is on Houston’s side. When the inevitable injuries occur Astros will be reaching into a farm system ready to produce.

    • jcmeyer10 - Jun 10, 2014 at 9:00 AM

      Yah, I totally agree. Sox have names. Their names are getting older (Ortiz, Nap, Victorino). It’s nice to see guys like Boegarts and Holt take up some slack. JBJ is a defensive center fielder who may hit .225 the rest of his career and who knows about guys like Cecchini and Betts right now. This is in no way an automatically superior team.

      Just a Red Sox fan trying to put on clear, instead of rose, colored glasses.

      • sabatimus - Jun 10, 2014 at 9:38 AM

        Absolutely right. And Victorino has hamstring issues every week, or even maybe every day given the way he walks out to right field. When he comes back I guarantee Nava gets sent down, but then Nava will be back up once Victorino gets hurt again.

      • thatsnuckinfuts - Jun 10, 2014 at 11:08 AM

        Despite all the winning over the past few seasons, the Red Sox actually have one of the better minor league systems in baseball. It’s not the Cubs or Astros, but it’s up there. Much better than my Tigers or many of their AL East rivals.

      • ud1951 - Jun 10, 2014 at 12:04 PM

        nuckinfuts may have a point about the Red Sox having talent on the farm, but I think we are seeing a new development in baseball, sort of the next wave after teams stop buying free agents and start spending money on drafting, signing and developing great players from within.

        For teams like Boston and St Louis, who expect to be in the playoffs every year, the challenge is to develop great players and then find a place for them to play. If you have high priced veterans at most positions, that is harder than if you are Houston.

        Boston and St Louis have great talent on the farm, but they have great and expensive talent under performing at the major league level. All that talent on the farm does you no good if the guys you are paying the big bucks to are healthy and playing badly, unless you are willing to bench the veterans.

      • rje49 - Jun 10, 2014 at 7:26 PM

        I’m pleased to see the Astros doing well, but not pleased with the Red Sox. Look at the stats for their makeshift line-up the other night; 3 guys hitting .100 something and 2 more hitting under .225. That wouldn’t be so bad if the other 4 guys were hitting .400, but the’re not.

    • sandpiperair - Jun 10, 2014 at 9:07 AM

      “I would take their outfield over Boston’s.”

      This is not a bold statement. Who doesn’t have a better outfield than the Red Sox right now?

      • sabatimus - Jun 10, 2014 at 9:36 AM

        Seriously. Bradley is good defensively but sucks BAD at the plate, Nava is bad at both, Gomes is a sub-par outfielder with extremely spotting hitting, Sizemore ought to be DFAed…the only outfielder (if you can really call him that) that’s any good is Holt, and that’s really just because he’s knocking the cover off the ball.

      • yahmule - Jun 10, 2014 at 11:11 AM

        The Mets.

      • dluxxx - Jun 10, 2014 at 11:24 AM

        The Twins? We have a statue (Willingham) a SS (Santana) and the pony (Arcia). I like the power in the corners, but defensively? Not so good…

      • paqza - Jun 10, 2014 at 12:00 PM

        According to FanGraphs, the Red Sox are the worst but it’s pretty close between the White Sox, Phillies, and Twins. To the guy knocking on the Mets, they’re actually mid-pack and somehow ranked in front of the Yankees.

    • xmatt0926x - Jun 10, 2014 at 11:32 AM

      There’s nothing shocking about that. You should start to produce some nice prospects after losing year after year. Unless your management is totally inept I would think at some point you have to get better while the teams that have had success for a while are bound to fall, at least for a while.

      And then you have Ruben Amaro stocking your farm system while leaving the Phillies bankrupt, so that helps too.

  3. proudlycanadian - Jun 10, 2014 at 8:39 AM

    It appears that Houston will not be receiving their traditional #1 overall pick in the 2015 MLB draft.

    • Hard On For Harden - Jun 10, 2014 at 2:56 PM

      This is a totally accurate statement seeing how MLB began play in 2011.

  4. paperlions - Jun 10, 2014 at 8:49 AM

    Houston now has legitimate MLB-level talent at C (Castro), 1B (Singleton), 2B (Altuve), CF (Fowler), and RF (Springer). They have a deep farm system headed up by a 19 yr old SS that is killing it in A+ and that Santana kid that Philly “accidentally” included in the Pence deal, who may take over in LF by next year.

    Some of their young pitchers are figuring things out and they have a lot of pitching talent in the minors. They are pretty much a year and a couple of mid-rotation FA pitchers away from being a competitive team.

    ….and they have a solid record right now despite playing in the toughest division in baseball. They are the only team in the AL west under .500.

    • thatsnuckinfuts - Jun 10, 2014 at 11:12 AM

      A lot of that young pitching is also trying to get used to the Astros piggy-back pitching system that all their minor league affiliates use. Some of their results are rough early into their pro careers but the Astros have a plan.

    • cur'68 - Jun 10, 2014 at 11:13 AM

      I predicted to Stex that his boys could finish a .500 club this season. He felt that was too lofty a goal to attain. Looking over who and what that team is right now, I might get a chance to be close to that. Be nice if that happened.

      • paperlions - Jun 10, 2014 at 12:03 PM

        This organization just keeps making smart decisions, and those eventually add up.

        In 2012, when Philly first dove off the cliff, I predicted that Houston would be competitive again before Philly would be, most people thought I was being a “hater”, but I was just judging entire organizations and their trajectories rather than only the MLB roster.

  5. therealdave123 - Jun 10, 2014 at 9:06 AM

    Good to see the Astros winning some games again. This is what happens when a team builds over a long period of time and the young players start to emerge and they start winning some games it can really snowball into a nice season.

  6. southpaw2k - Jun 10, 2014 at 9:06 AM

    It’s also worth noting that there are 5 additional teams who have lower winning percentages than the Astros right now along with the Red Sox and Rays.

    If Houston avoids a fourth straight 100-loss season, is that considered progress?

    • paperlions - Jun 10, 2014 at 9:21 AM

      I don’t think people appreciate how much progress there has been. This was a complete organizational rebuild. Essentially, they had to start from scratch, install a complete new system for player evaluation and development, coaches, scouts, FO people, everything….and the organization had very little talent in it at the MLB or MiLB level 3 years ago. They went from one of the worst development systems to one of the best in a very short time period and building a young exciting club that should be competitive very soon.

      People keep obsessing about them not spending an extra $40M/year to lose 90 games instead of 100 games, rather than on all of the things the organization has been doing right. People can rip the Astros/Cubs all they want, but the approaches those organizations took to rebuild and create an actual talent base is easily the most effective way to build a team that can contend annually.

      • clydeserra - Jun 10, 2014 at 11:20 AM

        their pitching (along with everything else) had been terrible. and its the question for the near future (not as much the long future).

        Dallas Keuchel and Coliin McHugh have been surprisingly good of late. Cosart has been holding his own. Will they continue? Will Feldman’s smoke and mirrors come back? Peacock?

    • sportsfan18 - Jun 10, 2014 at 10:01 AM

      YES it would be progress if they don’t lose 100 games again this season…

      Except in rare instances, EVERY MLB team will win 40 games and lose 40 games each season.

      What this means is that it comes down to what a team does with their other 80 games (I know, plus 2 more, but you know what I mean).

      Split those other 80 games and one is a .500 team.

      If a team loses 104 games and then improves to “only losing 94 games the next season, that is 10 games out of those 80.

      Gotta start somewhere. Gotta stop the bleeding and begin getting the needle to point in the other direction.

      Just like losing weight. Gotta stop GAINING weight. If one has been gaining weight, then simply getting to a place where one is no longer gaining weight is progress even if they aren’t losing any weight.

      Then, when losing a couple of pounds, that is progress, especially compared to gaining weight.

      Keep pushing that wheel and it gets easier and easier and then momentum helps too…

      Losing LESS than 100 games is a huge boost mentally and any boost or shot in the arm is good…

      • Hard On For Harden - Jun 10, 2014 at 2:57 PM

        A paragraph now and then wouldn’t hurt.

    • natstowngreg - Jun 10, 2014 at 10:05 AM

      If they can maintain their current pace (no guarantees, but it’s possible), the Astros would finish 77-85. The last 3 seasons, they lost 106, 107 and 111 games. If this isn’t progress, how do you define progress?

      I look at the current Astros like the 2011 Nats. They’re progressing from awful toward .500. The 2011 Nats finished 80-81, after seasons of 102, 103 and 93 losses. With hope of improvement to good, as more talent arrived.

  7. pbastille - Jun 10, 2014 at 9:24 AM

    Red Sox talent better? Really Craig? From the Providence Journal last week: “Through 58 games, Red Sox outfielders have combined to hit .215; that would be the worst average by an outfield over a full season since that statistic started being tracked in 1952.”

    So 1/3rd of your offensive line-up is the worst performing in 64 years and the team talent is better than Houston and Tampa? That’s one heck of an infield and pitching staff.

    • clydeserra - Jun 10, 2014 at 11:22 AM

      you know that there is more to a baseball team than the 3 outfielders, right?

      • pbastille - Jun 10, 2014 at 12:19 PM

        It’s a third of their line-up and its historically bad. Neither of the other teams have historically bad infields or pitching. Houston and Tampa pitching staffs have a better WHIP and all three teams are within .003 in fielding percentage. Team batting averages are within .006 of each other. Nothing there says the Red Sox have better talent.

  8. sabatimus - Jun 10, 2014 at 9:33 AM

    Man, what is it going to take for the Red Sox to score runs consistently? 4.02 avg per game is not gonna cut it, especially since they go through long stretches of hardly scoring at all.

    • rje49 - Jun 10, 2014 at 7:34 PM

      It’s going to take more hits from all those guys hitting .100 something.

  9. natstowngreg - Jun 10, 2014 at 9:46 AM

    Glad to see Bo Porter getting some talent to manage.

  10. sportsdrenched - Jun 10, 2014 at 9:47 AM

    This doesn’t come as that much of a surprise to anyone who has been watching the Astros. Given the talent in the front office, and the way they approach building a team.

    They’ve been building this thing up for 3 years, and I still think the Astros reach the playoffs before year 8 of their Process. Unlike another team I follow closely.

  11. sportsfan18 - Jun 10, 2014 at 10:03 AM

    Disclaimer…

    I’m NOT a Red Sox fan…

    But they played so far over their heads last season… beyond fortunate to win it all…

    They are bad, but not this bad. They are on the other end of the spectrum from last season.

    Both years, they weren’t what they seemed to be… not as good last year and not as bad as they seem this year.

  12. jeffa43 - Jun 10, 2014 at 10:55 AM

    This is just the start… Astros are a lot…. a lot better than they appear.

    They blew 9 of their first 16 save opportunities before moving to lights out Qualls.

    Love how the experts were talking just last week that the Stros need at least 5 years to turn this around.

    To Baseball media.. A lot of info at your finger tips, or just watch a few games.. STOP listening to other baseball media outlets reporting the same crap on the Astros from last year..

    This team turned a corner as soon as Springer arrived. A lot more weapons coming weekly for the rest of the season.

    Powerhouse developing fast !!! Love it!

    • paqza - Jun 10, 2014 at 12:14 PM

      Nobody expected Keuchel and McHugh to do what they’ve done, either. If they can maintain anything close to what they’ve done this year, they’re very useful pieces.

  13. 18thstreet - Jun 10, 2014 at 11:33 AM

    I’d like to see the Red Sox as sellers, not buyers.

    This is going to come off as sarcastic, but the players who are moved at the trading deadline are often nothing special. The Red Sox have a lot of those guys. There is probably a team with playoff aspirations who could use Pierzynski as an upgrade. Ditto Peavy as a fifth starter. Maybe someone seems a value in Gomes (that person is not me). And I think they could get a real haul back for Uehara. Burke Badenhop is having a terrific year and would surely upgrade someone’s bullpen.

    None of this is going to get Stanton out of Miami, but desperate teams do weird things at the trade deadline (see: Bagwell for Anderson).

  14. papajack1259 - Jun 10, 2014 at 11:36 AM

    Buckholtz, Lacky, Peavy, Lester
    That is the only reason the Sox might not finish last in the east. Who would of foreseen such accumulative lousy starts by such a staff?
    They have been pitifully, and although Ortiz has done what he does Victorino and Napoli are part timers to date If they do not turn this around by the break or July 4 Farrell might take the blame not his fault….

    • playball - Jun 10, 2014 at 5:04 PM

      You forgot Doubront. He lasts for a few solid innings and then swirls outta control. The key is keeping him on a short leash. I would have liked the Clay of old (before his super melt down) and Doubront to be one combined starter. Those two kill the bullpen.

      I’d take Lackey and Lester, in that order, as the only two I am supremely confident in. The team just does not give Peavey enough run support and with the home runs he has been giving up, he needs something.
      Ortiz isn’t doing anything that special, in my opinion. Each player can pony up once in a while, like he did the other day, but he really hasn’t been doing much. And hitting is his only gig.

      In the next few weeks, they’ll figure out what to do. The trade deadline ought to be really interesting.

      Farrell can’t take the fall for this. They just won the championship. Decisions second guessed by all of us internet managers (myself included) just don’t put him in the hot seat. I don’t think.

  15. mikhelb - Jun 10, 2014 at 5:46 PM

    Glad i was not the only one who read that tweet last night and found it funny.

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