AL West leader
Overall record (through Sunday): 76-48
Last week: 4-3
This week: Off Monday; vs. Washington Nationals (Tue.-Thu.); at Los Angeles Angels (Fri.-Sun.)
This week will be a good measuring stick for the Astros, who we aren’t sure how to feel about at the moment.
The team has seemed rudderless since what can only be described as a failed transfer deadline. Injuries have been a hinderance all season, but that excuse is wearing thin, particularly with Carlos Correa the only star still on the shelf.
If this team continues to play .500 baseball once Correa returns, it will have been too late to sound the alarm bells.
A division title is almost guaranteed, no matter the finish, but home-field advantage is not. A struggling Houston team against Cleveland in the ALDS might not end well for the Astros.
They need to bank on a strong finish being enough to hold off the Red Sox in the fight for the AL’s top spot, but even that might not protect them from an ALDS upset.
I seem to recall another West Division team getting swept by a Wild Card squad in the ALDS just a few years ago. Who was that? Oh, that’s right, it was the Angels getting sent packing by the Kansas City Royals.
Houston, you have been warned.