MLB - AL WEST
Stadium: Minute Maid Park
Manager: Dusty Baker
2022-2023 TEAM LEADERS
Houston Astros Summary
The Houston Astros will be looking to repeat their World Series run from 2021, where they faced the Atlanta Braves for the title but would come up short. The Astros have made the postseason in six of the last seven years and have only been in the AL West division for nine years. So, the Astros have pretty much owned the AL since their move to the league in 2013.
Their 95-67 for the 2021 season was the season-best in the AL for 2021 and tied for fourth among all MLB teams. So there isn’t much to improve on when it comes to the Astros in 2022. They have kept the same coaching staff from 2021. However, some players for the team did elect to test free agency, where the Astros would lose some of their best bullpen pitchers. Could the loss of these players hurt the Astros chances for another appearance in the World Series?
Houston Astros History
The Houston Astros have bounced around MLB a lot since their beginnings in 1962. When they came into the league in 1962, they were known as the Houston Colt 45s and were placed in the NL West Division. In 1994, MLB would move the team over to the NL Central Division, where they stayed for 18 years.
The Astros would play their first season in the AL West Division on March 31st, 2013. The reason for this move was an agreement with new ownership and MLB so that both the NL and AL would have an equal number of teams representing them. While the move wasn’t popular for Astros fans, it was the best move for the team in the end.
The move to the AL West has proved to be fruitful for the Astros, as they won their first World Series after moving to the AL. In the short time in the AL, Houston has had a lot of success, which has changed fans’ minds that once disliked this move.
2022 Key Stats
Winning the AL Pennant in 2021 puts the Astros in the driver’s seat for 2022. The Astros were at the top in nearly all batting stats for 2021. The team was first in runs, first in hits, second in doubles, and fifth in home runs out of 15 AL teams. With stats like these, the old expression “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” comes to mind.
The Astros pitching numbers were also not too bad. The Astros staff would have the fourth-best ERA in the AL with a team total ERA of 3.76. The Astros will have top starting pitchers Lance McCullers Jr. and Framber Valdez back for 2022. McCullers led the Astros in wins among starting pitchers with a 13-5 record, while Valdez had the best ERA among Astros starting pitchers with a 3.14 ERA.
2022 also promises to see the return of two-time AL Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander. Verlander missed the 2021 season due to Tommy John surgery, but he signed a deal to return to the Astros for the 2022 season.
Championships Won by the Houston Astros
The Houston Astros have championships across the NL and the AL and in three different divisions. The Houston Astros are the only team in MLB that has gone to the World Series in both the NL and AL. The Astros have won one World Series title, three AL Pennants, one NL Pennant, four AL West Division titles, four NL Central titles, and three NL West titles.
The Astros would win their only World Series in 2017 as an AL team. The team would win the AL Pennant in 2017, 2019, and 2021, and their only NL Pennant win would come in 2005. These title wins show the majority of the team’s success has come in the 21st century.
Looking at division titles, the Astros would win the AL West Division title in 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2021. They would win their NL Central Division titles in 1997, 1998, 1999, and 2001. When the team started in the NL West, they would win the NL West Division title in 1980, 1981, and 1986.
Important Team Events
The Astros have lots of things for fans to experience with special events that they put on. The team allows fans to use indoor batting cages, have on-field batting practice, pitch in the team’s bullpen, and participate in scavenger hunts throughout the stadium during their special events. These team events are exciting for fans to experience.
The Astros also have other team events during the season that includes rivalry games. The Astros’ best rivalry game is their games against the Texas Rangers. The matchup is known as the Lone Star Series, but people know it as the Silver Boot Series. The Silver Boot Series name comes from the 30-inch silver boot awarded to the series winner between the two teams.
While this rivalry started as an interleague rivalry, it has become more frequent since the Astros moved to the AL, the same league the Rangers play in. The teams will face each other 19 times in 2022, with the first game between the two starting on April 25th, 2022.
The Astros team has a long history of past and present top players. Some past players include first baseman Jeff Bagwell, second baseman/catcher Craig Biggio, starting pitcher Nolan Ryan, relief pitcher Billy Wagner, and starting pitcher Roy Oswalt. Some of these players have set records with the Astros, while others were good players that were right behind others in the Astros team records.
For 2022, the Astros will look to their best players for another chance to make the World Series. These players include starting pitcher Justin Verlander, infielder Yuli Gurriel, designated hitter Yordan Alvarez, and second baseman Jose Altuve. These players have all been vital in helping the Houston Astros dominate the AL West division.
Verlander will be looking to pick up this 2022 season, where he left off in 2019. He only played one game in 2020 and missed all of 2021 due to injury, but his 2019 numbers were impressive. Verlander would have a 21-6 record and 2.58 ERA for 2019, which he will be looking to repeat this 2022 season.
With the Astros history of coaches, three managers for the team stand out the most. Those managers are Bill Virdon, who led the Astros to their first division title in 1980, Phil Garner, who was the first manager to take the Astros to the World Series after they won their first NL Pennant; and A.J. Hinch, who is the first manager for the Astros to win a World Series along with their first AL Pennant in 2017.
For the 2022 season, the Astros will have manager Dusty Baker back in charge of the team. Baker will have the staff that was with him during the Astros 2021 World Series run. Baker’s returning staff includes bench coach Joe Espada, pitching coach Josh Miller, hitting coach Troy Snitker, and hitting coach Alex Cintron. With Baker and his core staff left in tack, 2022 looks to be yet another good year for the Houston Astros in the AL West.
Frequently Asked Questions
During the 2020 season, Verlander suffered a forearm strain, and by September 19th, 2020, Verlander revealed that he would need Tommy John surgery. The surgery has a recovery time of around one full year, and Verlander underwent surgery on September 30th, 2020. This didn’t give Verlander the chance to recover in time for the 2021 World Series.
Nolan Ryan holds the Astros record for best single-season ERA with a 1.50 ERA in 1981
Billy Wagner has the most saves in Astros history in a season with 44 saves in 2003.
Jeff Bagwell had the best single-season batting average in Astros history with his .368 batting average in 1994.
Jeff Bagwell holds the most single-season records among Houston Astros players.