Astros' sweep of Orioles just changed everything for Houston's 2024 chances

Houston made a real statement against one of the AL's best teams over the weekend.
Baltimore Orioles v Houston Astros
Baltimore Orioles v Houston Astros / Tim Warner/GettyImages

The Houston Astros entered their series against one of the best teams in the American League with their 2024 season hanging by a thread. Even after stringing together a couple wins over the White Sox, Houston was still five games below .500 and it was feeling more and more like the hole they dug for themselves to start the season was going to be too deep to get out of this year.

More than the wins column, the Astros needed to make a statement that they were still among the best teams in the league. Houston has looked very vulnerable and have lacked real energy for stretches this season as the losses and injuries have piled up. In some ways, the entire team looked lost and defeated through the first couple of months of the season and they needed their swagger back.

Well, three games later, Houston got exactly what they needed as they swept the Baltimore Orioles in convincing fashion. While it is still just three games in June, that series may have been exactly what the Astros needed to revive their playoff aspirations.

Astros News: Houston's sweep of Baltimore has them surging back to playoff contention

Last weekend's dominance of the Orioles was vintage Astros baseball. Houston got a pair of great starts out of Ronel Blanco and Framber Valdez, and even when Jake Bloss was forced out early from his big league debut due to a shoulder injury, the Astros' offense exploded for 14 runs to save the day. Overall, Houston outscored the vaunted Orioles offense 27-13 with 11 of Baltimore's runs coming in Friday's slugfest.

Just like that, the Astros are just two games below .500 and just four games back in the AL wild card race. While that still isn't a great position to be in in a vacuum, Houston is trending up in a big way and are playing their best baseball right now despite losing a huge chunk of their rotation to injuries and Jose Abreu being so bad that the Astros willingly ate tens of millions just to get him off the roster.

With the schedule easing up over the next week or two with series against the Rockies, Mets, and Blue Jays coming up, Houston finds itself with a 43.5% chance of making the playoffs right now. Considering where the Astros were just a month ago, that is progress worth celebrating.

More Astros News from Climbing Tal's Hill