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
3 of 5
Yordan Alvarez
Houston Astros v Baltimore Orioles / G Fiume/GettyImages

#3 They finally appear healthy.

Now this is something that could change at any point in time, but for much of the season, Houston has had to get it done without Yordan Alvarez and Jose Altuve, and dealt with multiple injuries to starting pitchers.

As the season comes to a close, they have gotten many of their important pieces back. Yordan Alvarez is back, and while he hasn't quite found his form, there's nobody in baseball opposing pitchers would rather see at the plate less than Alvarez with a playoff game on the line.

Jose Altuve survived a scare last night after fouling a pitch off of his leg, but has been on an absolute tear since returning from the IL.

With two of the best hitters on the planet back playing every day, their lineup is lethal.

José Urquidy is back as well, and he provides much needed depth to a rotation that needed innings covered down the stretch. He will allow for arms like Hunter Brown and Cristian Javier, as well as many of the taxed relievers, to not have to cover as many innings. Oh, and he has a 1.23 ERA for his career in the World Series.

And it appears Michael Brantley may finally make it back after all. Brantley kicked off a rehab stint with Sugar Land last night, going 1-3 with a bomb.

The Astros were loaded last year, but they also were healthy at the most important stretch of the season. Barring catastrophe down the stretch, they finally appear close to being full strength as October draws near.