Houston Astros on target for rare two-year turnaround

Astros

One of the biggest surprises of the 2015 MLB season has been the play of the Houston Astros. From 2011-2013, the Astros had three straight 100-loss seasons, including a team-record 111 losses in 2013. Through the first two months of this season, however, we have seen a different Astros team. Currently, they sit atop the American League West with a 35-28 record (.556 winning percentage) and a 1.5 game lead over Texas.

If the Astros continue at this pace and end the season above .500, they would become only the 17th team in MLB history to go from 100 or more losses in a season to playing over .500 two years later. The last MLB franchise to achieve this was the Tampa Bay Rays. Tampa Bay in 2006 had 101 losses; two years later they were 97-65 (a .599 winning percentage) and made the 2008 World Series (where they lost in five games to the Philadelphia Phillies).

Of the previous 16 teams to go from a 100-loss season to a winning percentage above .500 two years later:

* Six made the playoffs that season; four played in the World Series, two won the championship that year.

* Two won over 60% of their games (the 1914 Boston Braves lost 101 games and then were 94-59/.614 two years later; 1967 New York Mets lost 101 games and then were 100-62/.617 two years later). Both teams won the World Series that year.

Here’s a look at the 16 teams that lost 100+ games one season and then two years later finished the season over .500.

Team, 100-loss season (two years later)

New York Yankees, 103 losses in 1908 (.583 in 1910)
Boston Braves, 101 losses in 1914 (.614 in 1916)
Pittsburgh, 103 losses in 1917 (.511 in 1919)
Philadelphia Phillies, 102 losses in 1930 (.506 in 1932)
Boston Braves, 115 losses in 1935 (.520 in 1937)
Philadelphia A’s, 105 losses in 1946 (.545 in 1948)
Philadelphia A’s, 102 losses in 1950 (.513 in 1952)
Philadelphia Phillies, 107 losses in 1961 (.537 in 1963)
Boston Red Sox, 100 losses in 1965 (.568 in 1967)
Chicago Cubs, 103 losses in 1966 (.519 in 1968)
New York Mets, 101 losses in 1967 (.617 in 1969)
Chicago White Sox, 106 losses in 1970 (.565 in 1972)
Oakland, 108 losses in 1979 (.587 in 1981)
San Francisco, 100 losses in 1985 (.556 in 1987)
Detroit, 103 losses in 1989 (.519 in 1991)
Tampa Bay, 101 losses in 2006 (.599 in 2008)

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

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