With around a month to go in the 2023 season, the Houston Astros have played themselves into a pretty good position. Things were certainly looking a little dicey after the Mariners got hotter than the surface of the sun, but the Astros have won five straight games to find themselves in a virtual tie for first place it the AL West. The division race is going to go down to the wire, but Houston should be in the conversation there until the very end.
Given all of the injuries the Astros have had to weather this season, it is pretty remarkable what they have overcome to get to this point. Other than Kendall Graveman hurting his back yesterday, almost all of Houston's injury news has been positive and it looks like the team is approaching full strength for the home stretch. The results on the field have shown it and it now looks like the Astros should get another chance for another deep postseason run.
Here are the Astros' playoff odds with a little over a month to go in the 2023 season
Different prediction engines use different variables in different ways, so it is always a good idea to look at multiple sources when talking about playoff odds. Each one has their pros and cons, but they all bring at least bring something to the table.
When looking at Fangraphs' playoff odds for 2023, the Astros appear to be in a really good spot thanks largely to some of the AL wild card contenders falling off a bit. The Astros currently have the best odds of winning the AL West at 53.3% and now have a 94.5% chance of making the playoffs which is a marked improvement from when Houston got swept by Seattle. The Astros do have some tough and important series over the next month against the Rangers, Orioles, and Mariners, so things could still change dramatically.
Over at Baseball-Reference with their projections, they see things as a little tighter. They like Houston's postseason chances a little less at 88.2% with the Mariners nipping at their heels thanks to a 67.9% jump in their playoff odds over the last month. They do also still have the best chance to win the division at just 42% with Seattle right behind them at 38%.
As for the Rangers, things have not gone particularly well of late. While they are still likely to make the playoffs, their chances have dipped to 73.3% and seem most likely to have to fight things out in the wild card round.