2022 Houston Astros: 101-53 (.656 Winning percentage)
AL West Division Champions. Best record in American League, Second best in all of baseball. 704 Runs Scored. 497 runs allowed. End of Season: ????
So where does that put this team in the pantheon of all the Astros Golden Era teams? Second place sounds about right behind the 2019 Astros though they could be interchangeable with the 2018 team to which they are remarkably similar.
It will be interesting to reflect on this team after seeing the careers of Luis Garcia, Cristian Javier, Jose Urquidy, Framber Valdez and even Hunter Brown.
Valdez, Javier and Brown specifically look like they are young superstars in the making with Valdez already earning an all-star appearance this season.
If those three have long successful careers we could look back and say “Wow, those three guys were all in the same rotation at the same time?”
The thing that really sets this Golden Era Astros team apart from any other is the dominance and reliability of the bullpen. We all remember Jose Altuve’s game six blast that sent the Astros to the World Series in the 2019 ALCS. But the reason he was even put in that position was because Roberto Osuna blew a 4-2 save opportunity in the top of the ninth.
The biggest weakness on every single Golden Era team has been the bullpen until this year. Now for the first time the offense is being outshined by the pitching.
If this team ends up winning 105 games, which they only have to go 4-4 the rest of the way to do that, and then win the World Series it would have to thrust them into the best team conversation alongside 2019, if it doesn’t make them the sole possessor of the title.
Having the second best finish in franchise history with arguably the best pitching staff the team has ever had plus a World Series title would make it hard to argue this isn’t the greatest Astros team of all-time. They’ve already put themselves in the conversation.
The question is can they punch their ticket into all-time Astros greatness with that ever so elusive second World Series title.