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Sunday, April 04, 2021

Houston Astros’ strong opening statement and other observations from MLB’s first weekend

1. The Astros certainly made a statement with a dominant four-game sweep of the A’s in Oakland. Facing a chorus of boos and banging garbage can sounds from the Oakland fans, the Astros won 8-1, 9-5, 9-1 and 9-2. They hit .320/.398/.565 with eight home runs and 12 doubles, becoming just the fourth team to begin a season with at least eight runs in each of its first four games (1978 Brewers, 1995 Red Sox, 2003 Yankees).

Alex Bregman hit .500 in the four games with two home runs and Jose Altuve hit .375, to name two players who saw their numbers dip in 2020, but the biggest positive is the return of dangerous Yordan Alvarez, who was so good as a rookie in 2019 before surgery on both knees wiped out his 2020 season. He homered on Saturday and just missed another homer with a double off the wall in the opener. If he’s a force in the middle of the lineup, this could still be one of the best run-scoring teams in the league, even with the loss of George Springer.

And it doesn’t hurt to send a message to the A’s, who went 7-3 in the regular season against Houston last season, holding the Astros to just 25 runs in 10 games. The Astros then beat the A’s in four games in the division series, so perhaps the message is this: The A’s may be the reigning AL West champs, but Houston may still be the team to beat.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 04, 2021 at 09:47 PM | 0 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: astros

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