Astros Better Than Their Future Odds Suggest

Thursday, February 28, 2019 6:59 PM UTC

Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019 6:59 PM UTC

The Astros may not be among the favorites to win the American League and the World Series, but are they just as dangerous as their main East Coast competition in the AL? If things go right with some of their moving parts, they could very well surprise both the Yankees and Red Sox.

<h2 style="text-align:center;"><strong>World Series Odds: (+800)</strong></h2><h2 style="text-align:center;"><strong>American League Pennant Odds: (+400)</strong></h2><h2 style="text-align:center;"><strong>Season Win Total: (96.5)</strong></h2><h2>Pitching Question Marks</h2><p>After Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole, the rest of the Astros’ starting rotation has some questions and concerns. Verlander and Cole are as good as any two pitchers that the other heavy hitters in the AL can throw out, but after those two is where the Astros have some weakness.</p><p>Newly signed Wade Miley will likely assume the third starter position and he could be great in that role. The AL West is not a great division outside of Houston, so if the Astros can set up their rotation well during the season, Miley will be put in some nice spots to get wins.</p><p>However, the fourth and fifth starters are the concern. Collin McHugh pitched outstanding in the bullpen last season after starting for about three and a half seasons before 2018. Now he will be asked to return to the rotation in 2019.</p><p>However, the Astros will be without Lance McCullers as he recovers from Tommy John and Charlie Morton is in Tampa Bay now. Dallas Keuchel is also unsigned, but it appears the Astros are set on brining another arm out of the pen to serve as their fifth starter.</p><p>The problems for that spot started recently though. Josh James was expected to compete for that fifth starter role before he injured his quad. He’ll be out for the foreseeable future and although he presents some of the most appealing upside with a 100 mph fastball, it looks like he’ll have to work his way back to the majors in Triple-A to start the season.</p><p>That leaves only a few other names to hold down that spot to start the year. Brad Peacock is probably in the mix to serve as the fifth starter, as is Brady Rodgers and Framber Valdez. Don’t rule out the Astros going after another pitcher either before the season starts if none of those guys shine during the spring, or James is slow to recover from his quad injury.</p><p>The question though is now that they are expected to pull two of their better relievers back into starting roles, will their bullpen suffer?</p><p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"en\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;Four weeks from today, the Astros will open the season at the Rays.&lt;/p&gt;— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;February 28, 2019&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;\n&lt;script async src=\"\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;\n"}[/]</p><h2><strong>New-Look Offense</strong></h2><p>With Marwin Gonzalez heading to Minnesota, the Astros had some spots to fill and they have done a pretty good job of it. They added Michael Brantley to the outfield, which allows Jake Marisnick to go back to being the team’s fourth outfielder. Brantley should some provide some nice pop in the middle of the order and some protection for Carlos Correra as well.</p><p>However, losing Gonzalez will be remedied by the signing of Aledmys Diaz. The young middle infielder has shown some nice flashes with both the Cardinals and Blue Jays in the past, but he has yet to become a consistent option at the plate. However, he should provide some nice depth to spell Jose Altuve, Correa, and Alex Bregman when those three infielders need a day off.</p><p>The Astros are also a new looking team at catcher. Robinson Chirinos will likely serve as the team’s every day catcher and should be a big upgrade defensively at that position. He’ll be backed up by Max Stassi.</p><p>All in all, the Astros may look a little different this season, <a href="" title="Live MLB Picks">but their offense should still be one of the better units in the game.</a> If their back-end rotation and bullpen issues don’t flare up too bad, the Astros could very easily threaten to win 100 games again. The issue is their<a href="" title="Check MLB Odds"> season win total is pretty sharp right now,</a> so it’s a no play either way for me.</p><p><strong>Season Win Total Pick: </strong>No Play</p><p> </p>
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