Graphic of Astros' Strikeout Percentages Through the Years Proves Again Just How Much They Cheated in 2017

The Astros mysteriously struck out less in 2017
The Astros mysteriously struck out less in 2017 /

It's not acceptable that the Houston Astros won a World Series thanks to a complex sign-stealing network that gave them an unfair advantage, but it's funny how blatant they were about doing so and how little accountability they continue to accept.

The difference between the 2016 season, in which AJ Hinch led the team to 84 wins and a third-place finish in the AL West, and 2017, when they were suddenly the best team in the league, is night and day. One need look no further than their strikeout rates to see proof of their cheating, as they went from finishing 30th, 29th twice, and 27th in strikeout percentage over the prior four years to suddenly striking out less than any other team in the game.

Nothing to see here, move along. That Alex Cora was just a heck of a bench coach, wasn't he?

They even had the same hitting coach in 2017 as they did in those awful 2015 and 2016 seasons, as Dave Hudgens, now with the Toronto Blue Jays, was in charge on all three of those squads. They even shared a lot of the same players, who all conveniently seemed to break out during the same season.

Now that we have a clear picture of the Astros' misdoings and nefarious actions, it becomes painfully obvious as to why they were suddenly putting the ball in play more, while every other team in the game was striking out at an increased rate.