Aug 8, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Texas Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor (12) is out at second base as Houston Astros shortstop Marwin Gonzalez (9) throws to first to complete a double play that ends the game at Minute Maid Park. The Astros defeated the Rangers 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
If you combine the factors of the talent and the home field advantage, there is no reason why the Astros can’t make a run. Plus, am I the only one who thinks the AL West isn’t all it proclaims to be? It’s not going to be a death trap like in 2013, which is how it is made to seem.
The Texas Rangers won’t be as bad as they were last year, but that doesn’t mean they’ll finish with more wins than the other teams in the division. The Oakland Athletics lost a lot of players that helped them be successful the last few years, but you can never count out Billy Beane and his squad. Still, I see the Astros finishing above both of these teams.
Now it gets a little tricky with the Settle Mariners. They were expected to be in the playoffs last year, and just missed out. Still, they improved, and should be a legitimate playoff contender again. Or they could be like the Los Angeles Angels who were supposed to make the playoffs the last five years, but didn’t piece it together until last year. And as fellow Climbing Tal’s Hill writer Kennon Riley likes to point out, they went 26-12 against the Astros and Rangers last year, the two teams who finished with the worst records in the AL. And then they got bounced in the first round, not winning a single game. They won’t get that kind of success to add to the win column this season.
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The division is wide open as all teams have a legitimate claim to success, and that is why they play the games. All five of these teams will beat up on each other pretty good. And when it is all said and done, I expect it to be a two team race between the Astros and Mariners. With the second Wild Card added, there is no reason that the Astros can’t claim one of those spots, potentially the division.
This is the day we’ve been waiting for since “The Process” began when Jeff Luhnow took over. We knew that the Astros wouldn’t have a winning club for years in sacrifice for being a World Series contender for the next decade.
I understand the skepticism, whether you’re thinking “it’s too good to be true,” or “I’ll believe it when I see it.” To those of y’all in that category, get ready to see it. For those on the fence, start buying the hype. And for those who believe, enjoy the ride! It’s going to be a fun season, and get prepared for the Astros to #ShockTheWorld in 2015.