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When Should We Worry About the Astros?

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It’s no secret that the Houston Astros have been one of the biggest surprises of the 2024 MLB season thus far, and not in a good way. The Astros’ record in 2024, even though it’s early, has been shocking.

We’re talking about a team that’s won the AL West in six of the last seven years and been to the World Series three times in the last five years. Yet, they’ve been one of the worst teams in the American League thus far.

Is It Too Early to Worry About the Astros?

So what exactly has been Houston’s problem and should we be worried about the Astros? After all, this is baseball and anything can happen over 162 games. While there is plenty of time for the Astros to turn things around, here are some signs for fans to watch that will make it clear that we should be worried about the Astros becoming MLB’s biggest disappointment in 2024.

Pitching Injuries Continue

Every additional injury to a member of Houston’s starting rotation is another small nail in the coffin. Luis Garcia and Lance McCullers Jr. aren’t going to be back anytime soon while Framber Valdez and Jose Urquidy are both sidelined as well. Cristian Javier is the latest Houston starter to hit the IL, which was after Justin Verlander’s season started late.

Part of the issue is that there’s no way of knowing what pitchers will be able to stay healthy once they return. Verlander, in particular, is a health risk because of his age. Even if Valdez, Urquidy, and Javier return, if they get injured again, it’ll spell trouble. 


Houston’s other problem is that young starters like Hunter Brown, J.P. France, and Spencer Arrighetti have struggled early in the year. Brown, specifically, was one of the top MLB breakout candidates this season. He and France have both underperformed in April. If the Astros can’t keep their established starters healthy and can’t get better performances from their younger starters, there’s not much they can do to turn things around.

The Blown Saves Continue

The season is less than a month old and the Astros already have more than a handful of blown saves, accounting for more than a quarter of their games during the early part of the season. Josh Hader has garnered a lot of negative attention for his failures after signing a mega-deal during the offseason. But he’s not the only problem in the Houston bullpen. Ryan Pressly and Bryan Abreu also have inflated ERAs compared to what the Astros expect from them.

The obvious solution is for those established pieces to perform better. Over a full season, things should balance out eventually. Hader, Pressly, and Abreu should get on track sooner or later. However, the Astros have fallen so far behind early that they can’t afford to let winnable games slip through their grasp. If the blown saves keep happening, it’ll be a sign that this isn’t Houston’s year.

Stars Continue to Struggle

There’s no denying the Astros lineup has some heavy hitters. Jose Altuve is already one of the greatest second basemen in MLB history and is off to an amazing start. Kyle Tucker and Yordan Alvarez have also been productive while Jeremy Pena has had a promising start offensively as well. However, veterans Jose Abreu and Alex Bregman have been abysmal early in the year.

Those types of players continuing to struggle simply can’t happen. The Astros are a strong offensive team, but they don’t have the same level of depth as past Houston teams that went to the World Series. They need Abreu and Bregman to get going offensively in support of Altuve, Tucker, and Alvarez. Given Houston’s pitching woes, there is even more pressure on the offense. The longer it takes Abreu, and Bregman to wake up, the more worried the Astros should be.


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