Yes, I said it.
If you’d told me last year that come September 2nd, the Houston Astros would be the most exciting team to watch in baseball, I’d probably have then asked how bad of a season was it for baseball.
But as things currently stand, the ‘Stros are three games ahead of the Texas Rangers, who meandered their way into first place since getting prized-ace Cole Hamels. The Astros have first place held down pat, at least for now, which means unless they go into 2011-Boston Red Sox mode, they’ll play in October.
After the Trade Deadline, one of the biggest matchups to watch was going to be the experienced Los Angeles Angels and young Astros duking things out for first place. The Halos elected not to make any huge moves at the deadline, whereas the Astros acquired many large pieces that would make them a foregone conclusion for the postseason.
Nevertheless, it would be those two fighting for first after the deadline.
But it hasn’t been that way.
The Astros had basically won their footrace against the Angels with flying colors, when all of a sudden a new AL West team approached them — the Texas Rangers. And it’s been those two duking it out for first ever since.
Anyway, back to the Astros being the most exciting team to watch.
There’s something to them that only true championship contenders have, and this is ironically their first year contending — positive energy. It seems as though every night is either a walk-off, or an exciting victory. Minute Maid Park does not sell out often, but the fans have gathered there this year more than ever. The Astros fan base is starting to come alive again, and are getting a season they justly deserve.
Thank Jeff Luhnow for that one.
Everything on this team seems intriguing — especially the pitching. They have arguably the leading AL Cy Young candidate in Dallas Keuchel, whose ERA seems to get better and better every start. Deadline acquisition Mike Fiers has been on fire for the Astros, as he’s already thrown a no-hitter. Like Fiers, Scott Kazmir was also a deadline acquisition and has been great as well. You also can’t forget Lance McCullers or Collin McHugh, who’ve been outstanding in their roles as starters. Both seemingly have a bright future.
And who could forget that seventh-ranked MLB offense? Jose Altuve can’t hit under .300; it’s just not going to happen. Carlos Correa is one of the great future faces of the MLB, and is killing it this year. Marwin Gonzalez, George Springer and Evan Gattis have all been great as well.
Honestly with the 2015 Astros, it’s hard to take my eyes off of them. As a Boston Red Sox fan, it’s puzzling to watch the Astros. Boston should be where you are and you should be where we are — at least that’s what the projections said at the start of the season. Baseball is played on the field, not the stat sheet, however, and here we are looking at the Red Sox in last place and the Astros in first place. The Astros have been like that girl at school who was nothing special and then came back after the summer looking absolutely gorgeous that you can’t take your eyes off.
The Astros were worse than “nothing special” from 2011 to 2014, but you get the point.
What’s ironic is how everybody’s been waiting for the ‘Stros to fall off of their perch and back into their former losing-ways. Instead, they have flown to higher perches and are suddenly one of the closest teams to that elusive World Series trophy.
Houston, we have lift off!