The Stage is Set For the Houston Astros to Make A Run
The Houston Astros did something they have not done all season, and they swept another team for the first time in 2016 last night. Last night as Ken Giles got the final out to close the 4-2 win versus the Baltimore Orioles, the Astros are finally have a three-game winning streak. But why stop at three games in a row, let’s get greedy and go on a run to get us back into competition?
I am an Astros fan, so I may be a little biased, but like Larry wrote yesterday, the Astros have the talent to win. I know that they have not played up to their ability, and they have dug themselves a deep hole sitting nine games behind the front-running Mariners. Instead of focusing on the division or the wild card, let’s focus on getting to .500 first, which means making up eight games.
After facing some of the best teams in baseball to start the season, eight of the twelve competitors the Astros have faced this season at .500 or greater this year. The teams that they should have dominated were the Twins (12-34), A’s (20-28), Brewers (21-26), and Yankees (22-24). Even with the early season woes, the Astros have still have 114 games to make a comeback.
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It is naive to think that they can accomplish this goal overnight, but there is a way to get them closer. That is to win baby win, go streaking. They already have three straight wins, let’s turn this into an extended period of success. It would be nice to run off a ten game winning streak, but let’s try to take eight of those ten games.
For the next ten game, the Astros face the Angels (21-26), Diamondbacks (21-28), and the A’s (20-28) before having to face papa bear after that stretch. The Astros will have to face their kryptonite in the Texas Rangers, who have dominated the Astros thus far in 2016 with a 6-0 record. So win now, get hot, then maybe we can show up versus the Rangers.
The Angels are a hot mess, and it’s amazing that they currently have one more win than the Astros. Injuries have plagued their season thus far, and they don’t have a deep minor league system to replenish their major league roster. They are in the same position the Astros were at the start of the process, but they have arguably the best player in the MLB on the roster in Mike Trout. With the way the Astros have played, I think Houston goes in and sweeps the Angels this weekend. If that is too optimistic, let’s say they go 2-1 putting their record at 22-29.
The Diamondbacks were favorites this year after they went out and made over their team, but as the San Diego Padres found out in 2015, just making moves doesn’t guarantee success. They went out and got Zack Greinke and Shelby Miller, who have both been flops this year. They wanted to go for the playoffs this year to try to get something going while Paul Goldschmidt is still in his prime. Once again I am predicting the Astros to sweep this team, and I am sticking to it.
The Oakland A’s reign of terror might have fallen off this year as ace Sonny Gray has struggled and is now on the DL. The A’s have played the Astros tough this year, winning two of three games against the hometown 25. In fact, the A’s always seem to bring their best game against the Astros. But if the pitching and timely hitting continue, there is no reason to think that the Astros can’t take the series versus the A’s.
As they say, try to win each series at a time. However, if there was a time to go on an extended winning streak, these next ten games give the Astros the chance to win 13 in a row to get back into competition. I would take it so far that this ten game stretch will decide which way the Astros season is going. Let’s play it one game at a time, but let’s try to win them all and be 30-27. Nothing is guaranteed.
***Standings from MLB.com***