Whether you like it or not, the Houston Astros will be your 2021 American League Champions and will face the Los Angeles Dodgers in a World Series rematch. Bold prediction, right? The Astros have embraced the villain role this season, and rightfully so, giving them all the more incentive to do the unthinkable dreaded by Astros haters: winning the whole thing.
Astros Win The Pennant
The Astros have come a long way this season. As it currently stands, the Astros sit atop of the American League West with a 2.5 game lead over the Oakland Athletics with 46 games left this season. With key moves at the trade deadline to acquire bullpen help, Houston made it clear that there is one thing on their minds: winning it all.
Even without George Springer in the lineup, the Astros have shown extreme patience at the plate. The team with the highest run differential in the American League (+161) shows why they are the favorites to win the pennant. Not to mention, this team is currently without All-Star third baseman Alex Bregman, as he continues to rehab down with the Triple-A Sugar Land Skeeters.
We have heard players like Carlos Correa talk about family and how this team carries the same vibe it did when the club won the World Series in 2017. Kendall Graveman, whom the Astros traded for before the trade deadline, has mentioned how much this team cares about each other and how much of the talk in the clubhouse is about family.
Looking back at 2017, the Astros won 101 games behind a starting rotation that ranked seventh in the league, thanks in part to the addition of Justin Verlander. A bullpen that was ranked eighth in the league and an offense that was first in the league. Now, flash forward to 2021, the starting rotation ranks 12th, the bullpen ranks 16th, but the offense ranks number one in the league (for more stats, click here). That is not by coincidence. This team was built to win and to win now. Pitching can keep a team in the game, but offense is what will win the game, and the Astros are more than capable of piling the runs on when needed, especially in the postseason when the team tends to kick it up a notch. This is an offensive lineup that will carry Houston to an AL pennant.
Whether you like it or not, the Astros are the best team in the American League. Hands down, the best! The Chicago White Sox are up and coming, but they are still a season away from fully contending. Just looking at the season series between the Astros and White Sox. The Astros won the series 5-2, without some key pieces in the lineup against a young White Sox team with a lot of moxie.
We may be looking at this 2021 season as the last year for the Astros to make a deep run in October. This team knows it, which makes this campaign all the more special when the Astros run away with their third American League pennant and third World Series appearance in five years. For the superstitious looking for final confirmation, the Astros have made the Fall Classic in odd-numbered years (2005, 2017, and 2019)!
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