Astros: Winning is Important for the Top Spot in AL
The Astros’ latest struggles have opened the door for the Red Sox to claim the top seed in the American League in the postseason.
Let’s take a look at why this is such an important factor in the Astros‘ postseason goals.
After yesterday’s loss, the Red Sox now sit 4.5 games back of the Astros for the top spot in the American League standings. This position carries a lot of weight, as the top seed gets home field advantage in the playoffs, and plays the wild card team in the ALDS.
Why is this so important for the Astros?
Let’s take a look.
Home Field Advantage
Although the Astros have not been the best team when playing at home, the odds are much better when facing teams in playoff games. The last thing any team wants to do is be force to win a series finale on the road. However, the Astros put up great numbers as the visiting team.
That being said, I’d rather bring the Yankees, Red Sox or Indians to Minute Maid Park for a winner-take-all game.
Success Against the Wildcard Teams
The Yankees now lead the Angels by 3.5 games for the top Wild Card spot. However, the Royals are only a half game back of the Angels for the 2nd Wild Card spot. Not only that, the Twins, Mariners and Rangers are all within 1.5 games of this spot also. Even more interesting, the Rays, Orioles and Blue Jays are 3 games back of the same spot. There is a lot of shuffling that can take place. The Astros have had much better success against these teams, except for the Royals.
Let Them Fight
The Astros do not have winning records against the Red Sox or Indians. These two teams are the biggest threats to their World Series goal. With the top seed, the Astros would put the Red Sox against the Indians in the ALDS. This would force a tough series for both teams. The Astros would benefit from this series gong the distance, and both teams depleting their bullpen. However, I believe the Astros can handle either team. But, I’m not against taking advantage of the landscape as it is possible.
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Houston needs to continue to win, and build their confidence heading into October. The playoffs come down to teams who are carrying a lot of steam and trending in the right direction. The last month of the season is how the Astros find this hot hand.
***Statistics and information courtesy of ESPN.com***