Baseball is a beautiful game. It can also be weird, though. There are examples of this on a nightly and weekly basis, but the Houston Astros’ recent struggles at home provide us with a stat that will likely make you shake your head in disbelief.
The 2017 World Series champions have found themselves in more of a dogfight in the American League West than they expected back in March. However, their 73-45 record heading into Sunday’s games has them as one of baseball’s best teams while also holding a 3.5-game lead over the Oakland Athletics and 5.0-game lead over the Seattle Mariners.
A.J. Hinch’s club is finishing up a four-game set against those Mariners, who have beaten them each of the last three games. This is actually an issue that’s gone on longer than three games, as Houston has lost eight straight at home against AL West foes.
That’s the second-longest losing streak in franchise history, but that’s not what caught our eye. Look at the difference between the Astros’ home record against the AL West and their road record against the same clubs:
How the heck are you supposed to explain that? If you’re the Astros, you don’t — just keep dominating on the road and hope things turn around at home soon.
After attempting to salvage Sunday’s finale against Seattle, Houston has a quick, two-game series at home against the Colorado Rockies (sandwiched around two off days) before hitting the road. Based off how they’ve performed thus far in 2018, this road trip could be huge with regard to creating and then maintaining some space in the standings.
The nine-game journey will start in Oakland, followed by heading north to face Seattle again before finishing things up against the Los Angeles Angels. It doesn’t let up once they return to Minute Maid Park, either — the A’s will arrive for three games before the Angels come in for four more.
These upcoming 16 straight games against divisional opponents could easily help determine how much pressure the defending champs will be under as we continue inching closer to October and the regular season comes to a close.
About Matt Musico
Matt Musico currently manages Chin Music Baseball and contributes to The Sports Daily. His past work has been featured at numberFire, Yahoo! Sports and Bleacher Report. He’s also written a book about how to become a sports blogger. You can sign up for his email newsletter here.