#4: Dominating the Rangers head-to-head
The Astros and Rangers finished with an identical 90-72 record. In years previous, they'd have played Game 163 for the tiebreaker. Now, the tiebreaker is awarded to the winner of the head-to-head season series.
The Astros dominated the Rangers this season, winning nine of the 13 games between the two teams. Texas took the first three-game series between the two in April, but the Astros won seven of the final nine.
The final nail in Texas' coffin came in the September 4-6 series. Houston swept the Rangers, outscoring them 39-10.
Had the season series been even one game closer, Texas takes the division. But the Astros handled business against their little brother, ensuring they controlled their own destiny.