Houston Astros: The path to winning the American League West
By Braden Brown
The Houston Astros are still the favorites to win the wild, wild AL West.
The Houston Astros winning the AL West has been a sure bet for the past trio of seasons, but what will it take to turn that trio into a quartet? Houston is the favorite to take the West once again, but as we all know the sport of baseball is full of surprises every year.
PECOTA has the Astros projected to win 98.6 games this season, which is 12.7 games better than the number two projected AL West team, the Los Angeles Angels. PECOTA is known for being a little hard on the projections and projecting lower than reality. For the 2019 season, PECOTA projected the Astros with a 99 win season and they ended 2019 with 107 wins instead.
To round out the division, PECOTA projects Oakland, Texas and Seattle to follow Houston and LA in the standings in that order. These projections are usually fairly accurate, however they are projections inside of a vacuum and can’t take into account many outside factors.
The Astros don’t have to have a perfect season to win the West, but they do have to avoid a few things and improve in some areas to ensure a fourth consecutive AL West flag flies in Minute Maid Park. Every team in the West has improved and has a chance to catch up (except the Mariners), so this is what the Astros need to do to continue their dominance of the West.