At the end of each day during the baseball season, I run a set up simulations to estimate the updated probabilities for each series and the end result of the brackets. I add the latest results to the logs and send them to Bristol headquarters for inclusion in our ongoing coverage of the playoffs.
Here is the progress of the Houston Astros’ oddities in winning the American League Championship Series against Tampa Bay Ray in the last eight days, as well as the World Series:
This is like the scene in the movie where a character is drowning – let’s call it “Astro” – and being pulled out of the water by the hero, which we will call “Dusty”. Dusty enters some desperate CPR and starts begging Astro to wake up and look up to heaven for a miracle, while all – Alex and Jose and Carlos and little Zack – stand around and watch the whole business in terror. Not long ago, reality was set. It’s too late. Astro does not breathe. Astro is gone.
Then, all of a sudden, Astro pulls a whale’s spots out of the water and flies away with his eyes open and he gasps for air. Dusty fun! Alex and Jose and Carlos and little Zack dance in fun. Astro is very lively.
What else can you say after Carlos Correa – who has nothing to do with the long resemblance above – he imagines himself running home, telling everyone he is about to hit the ball at home, and then running home to keep the Astros alive. The next day? It’s fairytale content, although given the publicly approved rating of the Astros entering these posts ros sun, it could be a kind of fairy tale where the prince dives into Cinderella and hits the clubs with evil footsteps.
ALCS opposite Tampa Bay. Houston have been knocked out by winning back-to-back 4-4 matches after jumping into the 0-3 hole to start, it’s not a matter of coming to life, or getting the rays to take possession of any kind. Terrible suffocation mode. Basically, we’ve seen the same game played five times in a row. Rays happened to win the first three of them and the Astros the last two. It is the index that makes this eye-opening.
Because of that sequence, the Astros have already made history. There are thirty eight teams behind irty-0 in the series. Four of them have pushed the game 6. Astros are fourth. Here is a list of others:
1998 Braves: Forced a Game 6 in the National League Championship Series against Pedres, but lost.
1999 Mets: Forced Game 6 in the NLCS against the Braves, but lost.
2004 Red Sox: Forced ALCS won Game 6, won Game 7, won the World Series, and celebrated when somehow Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore entered the field.
The Astros still have a long way to go before entering Fever Pitch 2: Dusty’s Revenge, but they have already entered an area where a few 0-3 teams have gone. It’s too intense. But can they continue this? Will they
Answers: I don’t know and I don’t know. But there are a lot of factors that suggest embedded to play through this series, in a very short time, the Astros have the real shot to do this.
Before we get into those factors, let’s pause for the necessary reality check: you can see the possibilities in the table above. The obstacles of the Astros remain long. They stay long not because they still try the series 3-2, but because they play the rays. Rays entered the series as a huge favorite for good reason: they are a better team than Houston in this entire campaign. They struggled a lot with key hitters but they still had A.L.S. Got this position in because they have a roster of exceptional depth and versatility. Before the game, Houston manager Dusty Baker even said he felt Tampa Bay had more players on the roster than his club.
Tampa Bay is still a favorite to win any individual game in the series. And because they just need to win one more game against the Astros, the Rays are still in pretty good shape. Despite the devastating nature of watching Korea & Game 5 on a shot that won the game at Center Field, the rays seemed uncontested during their postgame zooms. They praised the Astros and waited for Black Snell and Charlie Morton to line up for the next two games, if necessary.
“It’s been a tough two games right now, and hey they play well,” Kevin Kiermere said. “We know we have a really good opponent there, and we have to get out early tomorrow and come up with the bat many times and let Blake do his job, and try to make some runs for him.”
But if you live in Houston – and let’s face it, if you’re pulling for the Astros, whether you’re in Houston, a relative in the organization, or really, really original for Dusty Baker, all good reasons – leaning towards you there There are a number of indicators:
1. Your team has already seen the history.
2. Their swagger is back.
Carlos Correa says he made adjustments to the game with hitting coach Alex Syntron before the game-winning dinner.
Well, I understand that this is a serious abstract, old-time sports writer bromide. But it’s hard to miss. Living around the Astros in recent years, one thing that has always stood out for them for me is the knacks and confidence that marked the way they played and carried themselves. This year, they just weren’t meeting on that team. They looked like crowds of boys late for dinner reservations.
That changed after the postseason began, but one pause after another advanced like rays in this round, blowing away the fleeting quality of that ephemerality. There was a team meeting, which is more fodder for sportswriting bromides. But, hey, it worked, didn’t it? Don’t you think that swagger is one thing? Well, with the off-season, Korea said it would hit the home run and then hit the home run.
What if she doesn’t cry?
Now, none of this suggests that the Astros consider themselves more than rays. The rays have evolved into obscurity over the years, there is the best evidence of confidence. This is more about the dynamics of the Astros Clubhouse. When this team behaves like they have the last two nights, they are very hard to beat.
3. They didn’t use Framber Valdez and kept Lance McCullers Jr. in line for Game 7.
The rays have every reason to feel good about the pots they reddened to start the next two games. And after Baker squeezed all sorts of things out of his bullpen on Thursday, while Rays manager Kevin Cash managed to get more length from his relievers, Tampa Bay’s overall staff is in better shape on Friday.
But with 5 Strauss pulling the win in Game 5, their pitching plans came very close to becoming a wanderlust. Mike Zunino got a second base on a massive pitch with single and pinch runner Kiermeyer to start the innings as Ray tried to take the lead in the ninth, when Baker Valdez threw in a bullpen near Ryan Presley. Baker barely got out of his pitching depth without diving into the depths. It’s huge.
“I told my dad and my brother in prayer,” Baker said, coming to the Korea plate before his winner was what was on his mind. “And I said, ‘Please, God let us walk, because if we don’t use the framer, and then we don’t have the framer to start tomorrow.’
Let’s not forget that Valdez and McCullers beat Snell and Morton by argument in the first two games of the series, although Ray both won:
Pitchers: IP, H, ER, BB, K.
Valdez and MC Coolers: 13, 8, 3, 4, 19
Snell and Morton: 10, 11, 1, 3, 7
The key to Baker is probably the length. Given the condition of its bullpen after Games 4 and after, it needs to repeat Valdez and MC Coolers from earlier starts in the series. No easy feat – an army of analysts’ rays is dissecting the outing as they type these words – but the bullpen edge of Tampa Bay is reduced if they can do so.
4. Their fortunes have turned.
One thing about baseball, you can also say pause over time. But there is no guarantee that they will get out even during the short series. In this case, however, it seems that things are already back to normal.
In the first three games of the series, the Astros hitters had about 80 33% more balls, which were more than 0 miles or more at the speed of the exit. Those balls had their OPS.836. The big league regular-season figure in that category was 1,052. (Rays were at .977.) The Astros figure in the last two games is 1.152.
5. They are children!
The teams jointly used eight rookie pitchers in their most important games of the season. It’s mind-boggling. The oldest of the four rookies used by the Astros (Andre Scrubb) is 25 years old. He would have been 9 years old when the Red Sox returned his epic.
I think because the Astros have so many familiar postseason faces in the series, people just don’t pay attention to how much turnover they have on their pitching staff since last year’s World Series. Houston had the third youngest staff in the Major this season.
Do you think the group is haunted by the history of the teams in the 0-3 hole? They do not know history.
The. The heaters of the Astros are colliding better than the heaters of the rays, and their pitcher is a pitcher of resin.
Yes, it’s a short sample and a simple concept, but it’s true. For the series, .757 OPS against .647 for Houston’s rays. The Astros’ WOBA is .395 against the expected WOBA (based on their batted ball) .325. Tampa Bay has .279 WOBA and .289 (per Trumedia) xwOBA. The better the process, the better the results.
It goes further: Houston’s Heaters have 34 strikeouts and 17 walks. Tampa Bay has 57 strikeouts and 14 walks. Houston’s Homer has an 8-7 edge. Both teams have 31 batsmen with runners in scoring position and have made six hits at an average of .194 in those places. Yet the Rays have outscored the Astros 9-3 on those hits. You don’t publish Vegas for not being able to trust the trend that continues.
7. If motion is one thing, the Astros have it.
Not only have they won the last two games, it started with the competitions and the dramatic nature through which they played. Houston rides high.
“The boy that will go down as one of the best games in history,” Baker said. “And hopefully it will go down as one of the greatest comebacks in history after two more games.”
The rays remain dear. But there are many ideas that the Astros can pull off miracles, and there is evidence to support them.