5 Reasons The Astros Remain a World Series Contender

While they've performed somewhat below expectations, the Astros still are a World Series favorite. Let's look at five reasons why.

Houston Astros v Miami Marlins
Houston Astros v Miami Marlins / Megan Briggs/GettyImages
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Chas McCormick
Houston Astros v Miami Marlins / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

#2 The emergence of Chas McCormick.

Chas McCormick made one of the best plays in World Series history with his game-saving catch in Game 5 of the 2022 World Series.

He was a capable hitter last year, but has elevated to another level in 2023. Last year McCormick hit .245 with a .738 OPS and battled to earn playing time all season.

This year, McCormick has solidified his status as a lineup staple. He's hitting .284 with an .897 OPS. He's adjusted his stance and is doing damage on pitches on the inner-half, pulling over half of his home runs.

He did take Gerrit Cole deep in the ALCS last year, but was rather quiet in both the ALDS and World Series at the plate. McCormick now gives the Astros a serious threat at the plate in the bottom half of the order. His growth has only deepened what was already a great lineup.