Oh, and was it you that projected the Astros would lead the league in strikeouts this season? Oh wait, that probably was you!
Frankly, few of our predictions, wishes and projections — yes, yours, mine and others — have come true for Houston this season. It’s been a strange season to be sure.
But, still, with 35 games to go down the stretch, do the Astros have a chance to pull it out? Well, let’s take a look.
As of this writing, here’s what we know. The Astros:
- Are third in the AL West, 7 1/2 games behind division leader Texas.
- Are seventh in the Wild Card race, meaning Houston would have to jump over five teams to get into the playoffs.
- Need to finish 19-16 to go 85-77, certainly the outer threshhold for making the playoffs. To reach 90 wins — a more likely playoff target — Houston needs a 24-11 kick to the finish.
- Have 19 home games, 16 road games remaining.
- Play the Rangers and Mariners six times each in September.
Questions abound with the lineup and especially the rotation. The team has clearly underperformed this season. Injuries continue to throw curves to A.J. Hinch.
Making the playoffs may not require a miracle run or a Philadelphia 1964-like collapse, but the odds are against Houston at this point. It’s really too late to sell off, but it’s not too early to start to plan for the off-season.
Can they make that stretch run? Will they be a relevant player down the stretch? Basically, the answer is yes. But it will require younger players to play beyond their years, veterans to step up to the plate above their season-to-date performances and some magic, luck and even a little wizadry.
So, with that background, here are your questions:
- Yes or no? Will the Astros make the playoffs?
- If the Astros make a successful stretch run, which player(s) not named Jose Altuve will make it happen?
- What has been the biggest surprise — good or bad — about the 2016 season?
- Now that Carlos Gomez is wearing another uniform, which player(s) have you seen enough of? In other words, which player(s) are you ready to jettison, either now or just after the season?
- What is one thing that you predicted early on that has come to pass?