Astros 2021 Predictions

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    Spring Training is coming to an end, which means the 2021 MLB season is on the horizon. Although there’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding injuries on the team and around the division, Nolan and I are here with our predictions for the Astros in 2021.

    Record and Divisional Standing:


    1st in AL West, 94-68W/L

    94 wins may seem a little steep, but here’s my reasoning: Myles Straw will fill in for Springer and be a solid 2-3 WAR player. Brantley will be back, and although he will regress, he will still be a very good hitter. New bullpen and rotation acquisitions Pedro Baez, Ryne Stanek, Jake Odorizzi, and Steve Cishek will help fill the holes in our pitching staff. FA signing Jason Castro will form an excellent platoon with Martin Maldonado. Most importantly, Carlos Correa will play over 120 games, which we really need. As for the pitching, Valdez, McCullers, and Greinke will all be 3 or above WAR pitchers. It’s bold, and also quite unrealistic. But that’s my record prediction. As for the division, the A’s will regress after losing Semien, Hendriks, and La Stella, while the Angels will improve after revamping their pitching staff with additions like Iglesias and Quintana, but it won’t be enough to challenge the Astros.


    1st in AL West, 95-67W/L

    95 wins is definitely possible for the 2021 Astros. The Astros lost fan favorite George Springer, as well as Josh Reddick, and Roberto Osuna among others. However they retained Michael Brantley and added Ryne Stanek, Jason Castro, Jake Odorizzi, and Pedro Baez. Yordan Alvarez and Joe Smith return this year after injuries and personal reasons kept them off the field last year. 



    Alex Bregman will be the Astros MVP this season. He’s currently the best player on the roster, and he’s been the definition of value since 2018. He will have another 150 or above wRC+ season with an fWAR ranging anywhere from 6.5-8.


    The 2021 Astros MVP will be Alex Bregman. Having added 28 pounds during the offseason, the best 3B in the league looks to have another 2019 like season with an fWAR above 6. Bregman had a slight down year in 2020 while dealing with hamstring issues with a 123 wRC+ and 0.9 fWAR.

    Cy Young:


    Framber Valdez was my pick before his injury, but with his return timetable unknown, I’ll go with Lance McCullers. McCullers should receive a heavier workload this season now that he isn’t directly coming off of Tommy John surgery that caused him to miss all of 2019. Barring injury, he should have a successful regular season, and set himself apart as the ace of this team.


    Although reports of his injury have surfaced, I still believe Framber Valdez will be the Astros Cy Young in 2021. Framber broke out in 2020 posting a 2.85 FIP and 3.23 SIERA as well as a 2.0 fWAR. Framber was excellent in the postseason with a 1.88 ERA, 3.28 SIERA, and 3.08 xFIP.

    Breakout Player 


    Brooks Raley. He and Ryan Pressly were tied for the team lead with a 3.00 SIERA last year. With Blake Taylor being the only other LHP in our bullpen, I expect Raley to receive a lot of matchup and high leverage situations next season, in which he will thrive.


    Ryne Stanek is my pick to be the Astros breakout player in 2021. Ryne struggled mightily in 2020 sporting a 7.29 FIP and 5.40 SIERA. However he’s shown great potential in the past with a 3.58 SIERA in his two full years with the TB Rays.

    Biggest Disappointment 


    Martin Maldonado. He had a pretty good offensive season in 2020, with a 110 wRC+ and a .326 wOBA, but he’s due for regression, as shown by his poor offensive performance in the past, and his .307 xwOBA in 2020, which shows he got fairly lucky. I do not think he should be our starting catcher, and I think he will be the most disappointing player on the Astros next season.


    Enoli Parades. Enoli seemingly showed up out of nowhere last year making the opening day roster and surprising many with his regular season performance. However, I believe he is due for regression. His fastball got destroyed last year, with an opponent xwOBA similar to that of Springer and Yordan’s 2019 offensive xwOBA. Although his slider, curveball, and change up were all very good, I think his lack of an effective primary pitch will cause him to regress.



    Luis Garcia, Chas McCormick, Bryan Abreu, and Forrest Whitley are the four guys with the best shot to accumulate the most playing time in this rookie class. Whitley is the most talented, but he’s also the least likely to make the opening day roster due to injury rehab. Abreu also doesn’t have a great chance to make the opening day roster, but his upside is too good to ignore. McCormick and Garcia are essentially locks to make the OD roster unless Garcia has a rough Spring Training. As for McCormick, he’s looking like our fourth outfielder with a shot at the CF starting job. Garcia, on the other hand, is shaping out to be a bulk reliever or depth starter. Of all these guys, I think McCormick is in the best situation, so he has my vote for ROTY.


    Luis Garcia is my pick for ROTY. Garcia had a short stint in the majors last year pitching 12.1 Innings with a 2.92 ERA and 4.25 FIP. Garcia also pitched once in the ALCS throwing 2 innings giving up no runs on no hits with 2 walks. If Garcia can follow up in 2021 lowering his FIP he could easily be the Astros ROTY.

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