Fans of the Houston Astros endured some tough times in the not too distant past, but the team appears to be doing just fine now. They won the World Series two years ago, made it to the ALCS again last year, and are the favorite to win the World Series this season (for now).
So, with that in mind, is there any reason why fans should bet on anyone other than the Astros to win the AL West division crown?
When you consider how well things have gone for the team in recent years and so far, this season, the answer may seem easy—of course not. However, it would not be too shocking to see the Astros go into a slump in the near future because of all the injuries they have been hit with recently.
Jose Altuve has been on the 10-day DL but has been out since May 11 due to a strained left hamstring. Carlos Correa is going to be out for the next 4-6 weeks after fracturing a rib while getting a massage. George Springer recently went on the 10-day DL as well for a hamstring issue.
Losing three everyday players of their caliber could be— should be – devastating to a team which could then leave the division up for grabs. With the odds heavily favoring the Astros to win the division it may be a good time to bet on someone else (odds via 888sport.com as of May 30):
- Houston Astros -3335
- Oakland Athletics +2000
- Texas Rangers +4000
- Los Angeles Angels +5000
- Seattle Mariners +5000
Should the Astros falter and someone else win the division the payout would be a good one with the odds being what they are. But the odds will undoubtedly move should Houston start to lose, and another team makes a move. So, if you are going to strike, now is the time to do it.
But should you? If so, who do you bet on?
Seattle had a great start to the season going 13-2, but then the wheels fell off, and they haven’t come close to figuring out how to get them back on. With a pitching staff that has a 5.18 cumulative ERA and a .270 opponent’s batting average, it is hard to see them making the kind of push it would take.
In today’s game, ERA’s over 5.0 are not going to win many games, let alone a division, which takes the Angels (5.01 ERA) and Rangers (5.10 ERA) out of the equation—and leaves the Oakland Athletics.
The Athletics have lost their last two but are otherwise coming off a nice ten-game winning streak where the team looked really good. Their pitching staff is decent (4.18 ERA), and they have one of the more productive offenses in baseball (283 runs; 11th in the league).
However, they really were not too impressive before the ten-game run which was against two poor teams (Seattle and Detroit) and a seriously slumping Indians team.
Houston may be hurt, but they have a deep farm system with a lot of young talent along with one of the best pitching staffs in baseball. They may lose some of their lead in the division, but they will probably not lose all of it before they get everyone back.
Don’t waste your money betting on anyone other than Houston to win the AL West.