Astros are on a tear ... what's been the key?

June 22nd, 2021

The Astros’ eight-game win streak lifted them to the best record in the American League (44-28). They sit atop the AL West -- a game ahead of the A’s -- and are a season-best 16 games above .500.

Everything is clicking for the Astros, with starting pitching and the offense leading the team to its longest winning streak of the season.

Starting pitching

In the past 22 games, Houston’s starters have tossed 131 1/3 innings and allowed just 42 earned runs -- posting a 2.88 ERA. Starting pitching has been good over the whole season with a 3.39 ERA, which ranks second in the AL (trailing the White Sox 3.19 ERA).

In Monday’s contest, Jake Odorizzi became the first traditional starting pitcher in MLB history to make five straight starts against the O’s without allowing an earned run to score. He’s tossed 26 scoreless innings against Baltimore, the third-longest streak over the last 50 seasons.


Houston leads the Majors in multiple offensive stats: runs scored (409), hits (691) and batting average (.277), among others.

Over the eight-game streak, dating back to June 13, the Astros are slashing .330/.400/.588. During that stretch, they own a +45 run differential (outscoring opponents 65 to 20) -- allowing no more than four runs in a single game.

Michael Brantley was a major contributor in Monday’s 10-2 win, going 3-for-3 with a pair of RBIs, raising his batting average to a Major League-leading .350. Yuli Gurriel also recorded a multihit and multi-RBI game, raising his total to eight hits and six RBI over the win streak.

When asked about what it’s like to watch Brantley -- who has smacked seven doubles in 12 games since returning from the IL -- at the plate, Gurriel shook his head and cut off the remainder of the question: “Unbelievable.”

“He's an incredible hitter,” Gurriel continued. “He's really like a maestro out there. He hits to all [parts of the] field. He's never struggling up there at the plate.”

Not-so Minor moves

Ahead of Tuesday’s game in Kannapolis, N.C., against the White Sox Low-A affiliate, the Fayetteville Woodpeckers have made a few promotions.

The Astros’ No. 10 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, Alex Santos will join the Low-A affiliate. The 72nd overall pick in the 2020 Draft is scheduled to pitch on Sunday. The righty has been at extended spring camp in West Palm Beach, Fla., prior to his first callup to affiliated ball.

Behind the plate, Nate Parry, Houston's No. 24 prospect, will make his first start and bat second.