While this offseason has been very frustrating on a number of levels for fans, the Houston Astros have a lot going for them in 2024. The offense is largely intact from last year's group and the rotation has Framber Valdez and Justin Verlander leading the way. Even if Houston mostly stands pat going into spring training, this is still a quality baseball team.
Predicting that the Astros will be pretty good isn't exactly going out on a limb, however. Now that most of the offseason is in the rearview mirror and it is all but assured that the Astros won't be doing all that much beyond maybe adding a bullpen arm (or two if you are feeling optimistic), it is time to get bold and predict what fans can expect from them for the 2024 season.
Here are 5 bold predictions for the Astros this coming season
The goal here is to go out on a limb with these predictions, so don't take anything here as gospel. There is a real chance that all of these prognostications won't come to pass and that is okay. This is the time of year to entertain the extreme probabilities before things like "actual games" and "data" get in the way of fans' dreams and nightmares. If these predictions end up looking rather silly by the end of the season, so be it. Fortune favors the brave.
Enough beating around the bush. Let's take a look at some bold predictions for the Astros in 2024.
Yordan Alvarez will hit at least 45 home runs this season
It is hardly a secret that Yordan Alvarez is one of the most feared power hitters in all of baseball. Since 2019, Alvarez places in the top three in all of baseball in ISO as well as slugging percentage behind just Mike Trout and Aaron Judge. The guy just mashes baseballs.
Again, no surprises here and barring another injury derailing his season, he is extraordinarily likely to post yet another 150+ wRC+ season at the plate. However, there are a lot of reasons to expect that Yordan has an even higher ceiling than that going into next season.
While Alvarez has yet to hit 40 home runs in a season (his career high is 37 in 2022), his home run rate from last year would have easily put him over 40 dingers had he played a full season. Assuming a world where he stays healthy, he isn't having to share any time at DH, and there are less Dusty Baker-style lineups, it isn't a stretch that Alvarez can do even better than that. We'll go the extra step and predict at least 45 homers for him in 2024 and a top 5 AL MVP finish for his efforts.