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Three players who need to improve for the Astros to contend in 2024

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A fifth of the way into the 2024 MLB season, there have been plenty of surprise teams to start the season, and some have gotten off to disappointing starts. 

The team off to the most disappointing start is the Houston Astros, currently 12-22 and in fourth place in the American League West. After spending most of the last decade as royalty in the AL West, the players must figure things out quickly if they want to compete. 

Here are three players who need to produce for the Astros, if they want a chance to turn things around in 2024.  

Josh Hader, relief pitcher

2024 stats: 1-3, 6.14 ERA, 1.43 WHIP and 24 strikeouts in 14.2 innings pitched

The Astros prized offseason addition, Hader has had a rocky start to his 2024 season.  

Joining the Astros on a five-year, $95M deal, the 30-year-old left-hander made five NL All-Star appearances with the Milwaukee Brewers and San Diego Padres before hitting free agency last offseason.

With 10 earned runs allowed in 14.2 innings pitched, Hader sits with a 6.14 ERA and has allowed opposing hitters to bat .255 against him compared to his career .160 batting average against. 

After allowing three home runs in 56.1 innings last season, Hader has already allowed two in his 15 appearances this season.

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