The Astros have absolutely proven themselves as a contender, making the postseason in six of the last seven years, making the World Series in three of the last five and winning one in 2017.
It seems like at the beginning of every season, most baseball analysts underrate the team, expecting them to be bounced in the American League Division Series. I think this is from the target that the team has on its back, due to the cheating scandal.
Personally, I think this team is good enough to win a World Series, but it really depends on who is hot come October. We learned this in 2019, as on paper that Astros were one of the best ever, yet they lost to what I would consider a very mediocre Washington Nationals team.
The key in that series was that the Nationals had gotten hot at exactly the right time, and the Astros had gone somewhat cold. With this being known, it is hard to predict who will win the World Series seven months from now, but I will try my best.
Personally, I think the Toronto Blue Jays are the most complete team this year, but it could be tough for them to win in the postseason as many of their stars are young or just arrived in Toronto.
Others predict the New York Yankees or the Los Angeles Dodgers to win, as they have many big names, but I think they are built more for fanfare than for actual team chemistry.