The Houston Astros beat the Seattle Mariners 7-6 this afternoon to win their 10th consecutive game.
At 18-7, they own the best record in the American League with only the St. Louis Cardinals having a better overall record in MLB.
Of course, the difference is that no one is surprised by the success of the Cardinals. The same cannot be said of the Astros who between 2011 and 2013 had the worst record in MLB. In 2014, the Astros won 70 games, but this was not enough to save Bo Porter’s job. When the Astros hired A.J. Hinch in the off-season it didn’t set off rockets given Hinch’s unsuccessful year and a half stint with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2009 and 2010.
The AL West was supposed to be a three way battle between the Angels, Mariners and A’s. Well, not only do none of these teams have winning records, the Astros already have a 7 game lead on the Angels.
How have they done it? Defending AL batting champion Jose Altuve and Jake Marisnick are hitting over .350, Dallas Keuchel and Collin McHugh at the top of the rotation are undefeated and their bullpen of Luke Gregerson, Tony Sipp, Pat Neshek, Chad Qualls and Will Harris have been lights out. The scary thing is Chris Carter, Evan Gattis and George Springer haven’t started swinging their bats consistently yet.
O.K., we’re only in the second inning of the season, but the Astros have thus far exceeded all expectations. It’s one of many reasons why I love this game. There’s always a team that comes out of nowhere and this year that team would be the Astros. In which case, the American League is going to have a problem with Houston.
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