Slow starters; does history suggest the Houston Astros can still make the postseason?

There was a heightened sense of anticipation around Houston for the start of the 2016 baseball season. The Astros had defied all expectations in 2015 to finish with an 86-76 record in the regular season, before defeating the New York Yankees in the American League wild card game, and then putting up a brave fight in a 3-2 loss in the Division Series to the eventual champions, the Kansas City Royals. With the core of a promising team still in place and the experience of a run to the play-offs in the previous season, Astros fans could be forgiven for their optimism and expectations of another tilt at postseason baseball.

One month into the season, however, and things look a little different for the Astros from the positive outlook on Opening Day. They sit at the bottom of the AL West with a 7-17 record (tied for worst in the American League with the Minnesota Twins), and seven games back from the AL West frontrunners, the Texas Rangers. Only time will tell if the Astros can mount a play-off challenge from this distant position – but given their poor start, does history give us any indication as to the likelihood of a second consecutive season of postseason baseball?

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Assessing the memories of broadcasters; how did Dallas Keuchel’s first inning against Milwaukee compare with all the first innings from his Cy Young year?

It’s an understatement to say Dallas Keuchel had a memorable 2015. Keuchel was a twenty-game winner in the Major Leagues, started the All-Star Game, made his inaugural appearance in the play-offs with the Houston Astros, and to top it all off, was the recipient of the American League Cy Young award.

We’re still in the very early stages of the 2016 season, and it would be foolish to draw any serious conclusions at a time when Houston have played less than six percent of their games. As an Astros fan, I should be clear that this article is not intended to be used as a prediction as to how the season may pan out. The only purpose this particular piece serves is to answer a topic raised by esteemed broadcasters Bill Brown and Alan Ashby during the broadcast on Sunday’s game at Milwaukee – had Dallas Keuchel struggled as much in any first inning of 2015, as he did at Miller Park on Sunday?

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