The Astros’ remaining schedule is much easier.
The Astros navigated through arguably the toughest month of their schedule in April, playing their first nine games on the road, as well as matchups against the contending Toronto Blue Jays and the feisty Seattle Mariners. Now, this arduous road known as the MLB season looks a lot less painful.
Houston has the sixth-easiest remaining schedule in the majors, when factoring in opponent win percentage, home vs, away games and travel. The only foreseeable tough stretches for this club would be a six-game road swing in New York playing both the Yankees and the Mets, the six total games against the Tampa Bay Rays and the 12 or so games left against a very competitive Los Angeles Angels.
But who else will they play? They have 19 games left against the Oakland A’s — who are likely going to be selling off players and auctioning off seats from the stands —, 15 games against the Texas Rangers — who are the resident AL West punching bag now with a bigger payroll —, seven games left against the Baltimore Orioles — who have been rebuilding since 1999 — and seven games against the Kansas City Royals — who will also likely be sellers around the trade deadline.
That’s 48 games against teams who will be severely outmatched when going up against Houston. I have the club going 36-12 against these teams.
When you add up their current record plus those 48 games against those four bottom-dwellers, the Astros project to have a record of 59-26. And even if the Astros win only a conservative 50% of those remaining 77 games (38-39), that would still put the season win total at 97.
With the Astros offense likely improving, the return of McCullers and the assumption of no major deflating injuries, I argue that Houston could easily exceed100 wins.