5 reasons the Astros defied the odds and won the AL West

The race for the AL West division championship came down to Game 162, with the Astros coming out on top. Let's look at the five reasons the Astros ran down the Rangers to win their sixth-straight division title.
Houston Astros v Arizona Diamondbacks
Houston Astros v Arizona Diamondbacks / Chris Coduto/GettyImages
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#3: Mauricio Dubón

Where would the Astros be without Mauricio Dubón? Aside from watching the playoffs from home, who knows? Thank you James Click for yet another shrewd move. 

We were down on Dubie coming into the season, and he spent all year proving all of his doubters wrong. 

Any time a team loses a player the caliber of Jose Altuve for two months, it’s a crushing blow. Very, very few players in the game could have done what Dubón did over the first two months, while Houston missed Altuve. As the everyday second basemen, he hit .302 in April and .274 in May. 

Not All-Star level production, but huge in helping alleviate the loss of Altuve. 

While his offense was great, his defense was special. In 79 games at second base, Dubón finished with five DRS. 

We still have some questions about the concept of a “personal center fielder,” but Dubie was great down the stretch, and no one play improved the Astros championship win probability more than Dubie’s three-run blast off Bryce Miller in a must win over Seattle. 

He finishes the 2023 regular season with a .278 average, 10 home runs, a .720 OPS, and 2.7 bWAR. Houston simply isn’t in this position without Mauricio Dubón.