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. 2: How many games do they get out of Jose Altuve and Yordan Álvarez?

Injuries are unavoidable over the course of 162 games. Every team battles injury, and by league standards, the Astros were actually remarkably healthy in 2023. They didn't miss a great deal of games as a team in 2023, but those that did miss time were vitally important.

Jose Altuve broke his thumb in the WBC and played only 90 games for the Astros. Their offense just isn't the same without their catalyst batting leadoff. Álvarez has been plagued with knee troubles and various ailments throughout his career, and he missed 48 games.

Since debuting, Álvarez holds a 162-game average line of .295 with a .978 OPS, 43 home runs and 128 RBI. Those numbers are outrageous, but the big man has only topped 140 games played once.

If Altuve and Álvarez are both hitting top-four in the lineup, the Astros still possess one of the best offenses in baseball. If they aren't, their lineup has enough holes for opposing pitchers to navigate. If Houston gets a fully healthy season out of both, another AL West title and yet another deep playoff run looks incredibly likely.