Ben Reiter's 'Astroball' reveals how unlikely prediction made it to Sports Illustrated cover story

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The book Astroball just hit store shelves, and the author, Ben Reiter, is in Houston for a book signing Tuesday.

Reiter gained notoriety with Astros fans back in 2014 when he predicted the Astros would win the World Series in 2017. The prediction came as the Astros were battling a three-year losing streak.

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Sports Illustrated Baseball Kings page features Houston Astros

In his book, Reiter discusses statistics and strategy behind the 2017 victory.

Eyewitness News sports anchor Bob Slovak caught up with Reiter as the World Series was underway.

Here's what he said then about the prediction.

"Clearly, it's a long shot for anyone to win the World Series, but the Astros were struggling so badly, we went in there and looked at their plan, and we really thought, genuinely, it had a chance of working. This was not just a hot take," said Reiter.

He's predicting the Astros will win the World Series again this year!

"Luckily, they've looked pretty good so far," Reiter said.

He said as the Astros continue to have success, they will pave the way for combining human gut with analytics on and off the field, particularly in business.

It all began when Reiter visited the Astros in 2014, when the team came off a disastrous 51-111 season the year before. He said he visited with the front office, picked their minds, and came away with a feeling of positivity. He felt they were on to a new way of winning that combined analytics and statistics with human instinct.

Reiter said all the Astros players were aware of his prediction, especially George Springer. He was on the cover of the magazine that featured the piece. Reiter said Springer asked about it most once it finally became a reality.

Reiter also drew a comparison between the Astros and another Houston team, the Rockets. He said Houston is a town of innovation and that both teams reflect that with their style of play.

Going to the Astros game Monday night brought a special experience for Reiter. He said many recognized him and had a new experience, which was signing a baseball. Reiter said signing baseballs is more complicated than it looks.

Former Astros player Carlos Beltran played a big role in Reiter's book. He said that although Beltran did not record a hit during the World Series, he had an impact on the championship squad.

"He created an environment that was rich with team chemistry," Reiter said, also giving credit to Beltran's experience and ability to read pitches.

Reiter said his favorite part of the process was following it and seeing how it developed. He said it was also fun to see all the critics quickly change their mind as early as 2015.

To celebrate the release of his book, Reiter will be giving away one poster size print of the Sports Illustrated cover featuring George Springer that predicted the championship. The cover will also be signed by Springer.

Click here to enter the sweepstakes.

Reiter held a book signing Tuesday night at Brazos Bookstore. He then headed over to Little Woodrow's to watch the team he was right about all along.
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