Houston Astros 2020 Fantasy Baseball Preview
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As part of our 2020 season preparations, we are going digging into the fantasy options for every Major League Baseball team. You can find all of our 2020 fantasy baseball MLB team previews here.
Here’s everything you need to know about the 2020 Houston Astros from a fantasy perspective:
- Better in OBP formats: Alex Bregman
- Worse in OBP formats: Yuli Gurriel
- Better than his ADP: George Springer (39)
- Worse than his ADP: Michael Brantley (118)
- Bench bat(s) worth rostering: Kyle Tucker
- Player(s) most likely to lose a starting spot: Josh Reddick
Quick Thoughts: The obvious dark cloud that hangs over the Houston Astros — specifically, their hitters — is the recent cheating scandal. It would be irresponsible to cast this aside, as we have to consider all factors when projecting ahead. The reality, however, is that the entire lineup is arguably being undervalued by the fantasy baseball community. The Astros are still loaded with offensive talent.
|4||Lance McCullers Jr.||R|
- Better than his ADP: Josh James (234)
- Worse than his ADP: Jose Urquidy (204)
- Starter least likely to stick in the rotation: Jose Urquidy
- Non-starter most likely to enter the rotation: Austin Pruitt
Quick Thoughts: Although Justin Verlander is injured, we have to include him in the starting rotation — all right-handed pitchers, at that — to paint a more accurate picture. Still, the loss of Gerrit Cole, questionable health of Verlander, and necessity of the Houston Astros to lean on less proven pitching make this a potential weak spot for the team compared to last year’s squad.
- Projected closer: Roberto Osuna (Job Security: HIGH)
- Top backup: Ryan Pressly
- Premier holds option: Ryan Pressly, Bryan Abreu
- Sneaky holds option: Chris Devenski
Quick Thoughts: Houston’s bullpen shows no glaring holes, and it is actually primed to improve with some Minor League arms ready to contribute at the Major League level. If playing in a league that counts holds — either separately or combined with saves — then Ryan Pressly is one of the must-own non-closer relief pitchers.
- Relevant in 2020: Forrest Whitley, Abraham Toro, Cristian Javier
- Worth a look for 2021 and beyond: Freudis Nova
- Don’t believe the hype: Jeremy Pena
Quick Thoughts: The big name in the Astros’ Minor League system is Forrest Whitley and, while his star’s shine has faded drastically, it isn’t extinguished. We should see him with the Astros at one point in 2020. The only question is whether it will be in the bullpen or with a chance to earn a spot in future rotations.
Other Helpful Fantasy Info
- Park Factor: The left field porch in Minute Maid Park gives the illusion of an offensive atmosphere, but Houston is actually home to a pitcher’s park. It decreases offense for every statistic except home runs, and it is one of the worst for doubles.
- Green Light Rating: MEDIUM — New manager Dusty Baker has a long history — 22 years — from which we can draw conclusions. Overall, his team’s propensity to run fluctuates from season-to-season, but it hovers around average for his career. Most likely, his aggressiveness is tied to the personnel on his roster.
- Likeliest 2020 roster moves: Kyle Tucker, Forrest Whitley, Abraham Toro, and Cristian Javier all play significant roles for the 2020 Astros.
- Bold Fantasy Prediction: The shortened season greatly benefits Josh James as he emerges as the team’s second-best starting pitcher behind Justin Verlander.
- Bland Fantasy Prediction: José Altuve finishes the year as the league’s top fantasy second baseman.