Wednesday, May 1, 2019
(Music Pun #15. Yeah, I'm hip.)
Well, it finally happened. After several weeks of climbing up the standings slowly, the Astros have FINALLY overtaken the Mariners for first, and reclaimed the top of the division they've been owning for several years now. I'd say I'm shocked, but...this team has both Justin Verlander and Alex Bregman at their peaks, so how can I be?
The Astros were also smart enough to retool their already-good 2018 squad, adding two great pieces in Michael Brantley and Wade Miley, and keep the majority of the squad together. And...it's worked. Verlander and Bregman are still red-hot. Gerrit Cole has the most strikeouts in baseball right now. Jose Altuve has NINE HOME RUNS right now, which means he's working towards surpassing his previous season record of 24. A ton of the wins so far have been big wins, as well, as evidenced by Roberto Osuna only having 7 saves thus far.
What's great about this team is that...even after winning a World Series and two straight AL West titles, this Astros team still finds way to surprise the rest of the league. Walk-off home runs from career contact hitters. George Springer spending most of his time coming off the bench. Getting Robinson Chirinos to hit for average. It's all very intriguing, and it's finally coming together for Houston.
Now, the challenge will be making sure the Mariners don't come back to try and jump them again. The Mariners might be the more fundamentally flawed team, as we're seeing now, but they can still do some sneaky stuff late, so they could be an interesting late-season opponent. Hopefully the Astros can come out on top, there.
Coming Tomorrow- His team just took two from the Yankees, so I'm not wild about him right now.