5 storylines that will decide the fate of the Astros season

The Astros are looking for another AL West championship, an eighth straight trip to the ALCS, and a third World Series title in eight years. These storylines will determine how their 2024 season shakes out.

Championship Series - Texas Rangers v Houston Astros - Game Seven
Championship Series - Texas Rangers v Houston Astros - Game Seven / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages
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No. 4: What happens with center field?

Center field has been quite a hot topic for the Astros since George Springer left ahead of the 2021 season. Their best and most consistent option has been Chas McCormick, but due to rumored beef with his previous manager, a completely indefensible "personal center fielder" for Justin Verlander's starts, and a hope for Jake Meyers to return to his 2021 pre-injury form, the center field position has largely been a revolving door.

In 2023, Chas McCormick was worth 3.6 bWAR, hitting .273 with 22 home runs, 70 RBI and an .842 OPS. But due to the aforementioned playing time split, Astros center fielders hit .255 with a .754 OPS on the year.

Dana Brown has already alluded to Jake Meyers getting more of a crack at the center field role in 2024 after being left off of the ALCS roster, but Houston also intends to play Yordan Álvarez in left field more to free up DH starts for Abreu and Altuve.

If Houston just commits to playing McCormick in center any time he's not spelling Álvarez in left, their lineup will be lethal. If they continue trying to force Meyers or Dubón into the role and again have no continuity, they'll be leaving runs on the board.