Astros News

Astros: Gauging the AL West as the offseason simmers

codypoage
HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 16: (L-R) Manager AJ Hinch, Justin Verlander #35, and Joe Smith #38 of the Houston Astros talk in the outfield during batting practice before Game Three of the American League Championship Series against the Boston Red Sox at Minute Maid Park on October 16, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 16: (L-R) Manager AJ Hinch, Justin Verlander #35, and Joe Smith #38 of the Houston Astros talk in the outfield during batting practice before Game Three of the American League Championship Series against the Boston Red Sox at Minute Maid Park on October 16, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
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TORONTO, ON – SEPTEMBER 26: Alex Bregman #2 of the Houston Astros celebrates in the clubhouse with Jose Altuve #27 after the Astros clinched the American League West division title after their MLB game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on September 26, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /

Unless something drastic changes this offseason, the AL West division title likely runs through Houston in 2019.

We as a society often focus on the final result when examining history. The victors of war, for example, are considered a focal point. When a war was won by one faction or another, they then held the influence to shape the world around them by their particular set of values and systems. Opposing parties either had to conform or discover how to remove the ruling system to institute their own. When the result is obviously detrimental to society, it is crucial to remember how we arrived at previous events, unless we want to repeat an undesirable result sometime in the future.

As the philosopher, poet, essayist, and novelist George Santayana wrote in “The Life of Reason”:

"“Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it.”"

There is an undeniable value in examining the process that leads to a final result. When reviewing the past, we search to find answers to how specific events unfolded. By the way, this line of thinking doesn’t only apply to the tragedy known as war. It arguably applies across the realm of life. The one trifling region I would to expand upon is baseball and the outlook of the AL West in 2019. There are five teams that would love to topple each other in the standings, although the realistic state of their clubs temper such expectations.

As you likely know, the Astros were the victors of the AL West title for the past two seasons. Most people only care about that one fact in the grand scheme. Yes, Houston ran away with the title in 2017 when it finished 21 games ahead of the second-place Angels. But the 2018 race for the title was much closer as the Astros won only six more games than the second-place Athletics. Don’t forget about the Mariners and Angels, who both held first place in the AL West for various amounts of time. And the Astros somehow won two more games despite a far more competitive AL West.

Like I mentioned earlier, it is crucial to review the history of how events unfolded. History and outlook does dictate future action, which is apparent in the current state of the AL West.

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