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Monday, September 23, 2019

Houston Astros clinch third consecutive AL West division title

For the third year in a row, the Houston Astros are champions of the American League West.

George Springer hit three home runs and Justin Verlander picked up his major league-leading 20th win as Houston routed the Los Angeles Angels 13-5 on Sunday to secure the division title. It also helped the Astros keep pace with the New York Yankees in the battle for the best overall record—and home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

Four races down, four to go, and our questioning turns to Hal Block. Mr. Block?

 

QLE Posted: September 23, 2019 at 12:20 AM | 34 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: al west, astros

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   1. Astroenteritis Posted: September 23, 2019 at 10:54 AM (#5882153)
I have the cautionary voice in my head telling me the playoffs will likely end in eventual disappointment (all glory is fleeting, except for one team, after all), but this has been one helluva fun year. Seeing Verlander and Cole pitch, watching the meteoric rise of Alvarez (the man can flat hit), and of course having Bregman, Altuve, Springer, Brantley, and sometimes Correa hitting well has been a blast. Good times for Astros fans.
   2. jmurph Posted: September 23, 2019 at 11:51 AM (#5882169)
I have the cautionary voice in my head telling me the playoffs will likely end in eventual disappointment (all glory is fleeting, except for one team, after all)

Always the likeliest outcome for any team, but I think this year you'd certainly rather be the Astros than anyone else.
   3. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 23, 2019 at 11:59 AM (#5882177)
Always the likeliest outcome for any team, but I think this year you'd certainly rather be the Astros than anyone else.

I think the Astros are the best team, but I think the Dodgers have the significantly weaker set of opponents. If I had to bet on one team to make the WS, I'd pick LA.
   4. TomH Posted: September 23, 2019 at 12:12 PM (#5882181)
I agree with snapper, with the caveat that if HOU gets the #1 seed (best record), thus facing the WC winner who will have spent their best arm (and possibly even a play-in game besides!), that to me boosts the 'Stors odds to possibly ahead of LA's.
   5. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 23, 2019 at 12:14 PM (#5882183)
I think the Astros are the best team, but I think the Dodgers have the significantly weaker set of opponents. If I had to bet on one team to make the WS, I'd pick LA.

So would I, but I'd also pick them to lose to either the Astros or the Yankees. Clearly Houston is the team to beat.
   6. Jose is an Absurd Time Cube Posted: September 23, 2019 at 12:14 PM (#5882185)
I think the Astros/Dodgers are the two best teams in their leagues, both by some distance. The Yankees are behind both and then the other seven playoff teams kind of rummage in behind them.

Astros/Dodgers
-small gap-
Yankees
-gap-
Everyone else

But for that reason I agree with snapper that the Dodgers are the team most likely to play in the World Series. They are far and away the best team in their league. The Yankees aren’t as good as the Astros but the difference is small enough that them winning that series would come as no shock.

With all that said I have a hunch we are in for some craziness. The last few seasons we have not had a lot of surprise in the post-season. I feel like you have to go back to 2014 and the Royals/Giants runs through the playoffs for something really surprising. Maybe Yankees over Indians in 2017 (as much as the how it happened as the fact that it did). For no reason at all I think we are looking at a Twins/Brewers World Series or something on that order.
   7. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 23, 2019 at 12:15 PM (#5882186)
I agree with snapper, with the caveat that if HOU gets the #1 seed (best record), thus facing the WC winner who will have spent their best arm (and possibly even a play-in game besides!), that to me boosts the 'Stors odds to possibly ahead of LA's.

"the 'Stors"???
   8. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: September 23, 2019 at 12:21 PM (#5882189)
The Storrs. Gonna relocate to Connecticut.
   9. jmurph Posted: September 23, 2019 at 12:21 PM (#5882190)
Fair points about the easier path for the Dodgers.
   10. jmurph Posted: September 23, 2019 at 12:25 PM (#5882191)
For no reason at all I think we are looking at a Twins/Brewers World Series or something on that order.

This would be great, though the I-94 Series might not carry the same cultural weight as the Bay Bridge Series or the Subway Series.
   11. TomH Posted: September 23, 2019 at 12:29 PM (#5882194)
sorry, typo. Stros, not Stors.
   12. bfan Posted: September 23, 2019 at 12:31 PM (#5882196)
I understand the season is not over but right now the Astros are +265 in runs scored vs. runs surrendered. In comparison to past years, they are a team for the ages?

tops in + runs:

2018-Astros (263) (Red Sox were "only +229)
2017-Indians 254
2016-Cubs 252
2015-Jays 221
2014-Athletics 153
2013-Red Sox 197

You could chalk this up for 2019 with having the Royals; Tigers; and Orioles on your side of the bracket, too.
   13. SoSH U at work Posted: September 23, 2019 at 12:41 PM (#5882199)
You could chalk this up for 2019 with having the Royals; Tigers; and Orioles on your side of the bracket, too.


Holy crap. The Stors have outscored the Royals, Tigers, O's and M's by 120 runs. Almost half their run disparity is in 36 games.
   14. Blastin Posted: September 23, 2019 at 12:43 PM (#5882200)
So would I, but I'd also pick them to lose to either the Astros or the Yankees. Clearly Houston is the team to beat.


Yes.

Though as the list of top run differential teams above shows, the top run differential team has won.... twice in the last six years.

That 2017 Indians faceplant looks more absurd by the day.

Not only were that they good, but they went up 2-0, and they came in winning some crazy amount of games. All narratives defied. And they didn't even lose to the eventual winner.
   15. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 23, 2019 at 01:25 PM (#5882218)
I agree with snapper, with the caveat that if HOU gets the #1 seed (best record), thus facing the WC winner who will have spent their best arm (and possibly even a play-in game besides!), that to me boosts the 'Stors odds to possibly ahead of LA's.

Given all the Twins' recent injuries, I'm not at all confident they are a better team than the A's/Indians/Rays.
   16. Astroenteritis Posted: September 23, 2019 at 01:49 PM (#5882229)
The AL playoff field seems really deep. I don't look at any team and think, "that's the team I want to play." If I believed in the "team of destiny" thing, which I don't, I would say the Yankees would be that team. How they've won so many games with all the games missed due to injury is amazing.
   17. Astroenteritis Posted: September 23, 2019 at 01:50 PM (#5882231)
The Storrs. Gonna relocate to Connecticut.


Can they play that Hartford Whalers song when they take the field. That might work.
   18. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: September 23, 2019 at 01:52 PM (#5882234)
Yup! May have whale jerseys too.
Shoulda known they could never be successful in that small Houston market - looks at the tiny payroll they carried a few seasons back.
   19. salvomania Posted: September 23, 2019 at 02:06 PM (#5882239)
Cardinals are the smoke-and-mirrors playoff team for 2019.

They somehow have the NL's best record in the second half, playing roughly .667 ball, despite a crappy offense and only one real stud starting pitcher. (And yes, I know about Dakota Hudson, but that's what I mean by "smoke and mirrors.")

I'm hoping they pull a 2006 Cardinals, but realistically the Dodgers and Astros seem like the teams destined to meet in the World Series.
   20. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 23, 2019 at 02:22 PM (#5882247)
I understand the season is not over but right now the Astros are +265 in runs scored vs. runs surrendered. In comparison to past years, they are a team for the ages?
Only if they win the World Series. The 1998 Yankees were +309 runs, and won 114 games; the 2001 Mariners were +300, with 116 regular season wins. The one that won the World Series is the one regarded as among the best ever.
   21. base ball chick Posted: September 23, 2019 at 03:03 PM (#5882267)
the astores have a pitching problem - it's like the dbax in 01 - they have 2 superstah starters and an OK starter (greinke - no he has not pitched like an ace) and a bullpen problem. no charlie morton, no lance mccullers. wade miley has a bad case of the suckage. one game of getting singled to death is one thing, but it has been serious over the past 4 games

so the stores fans best not be counting chickens just yet

me i am definitely rooting for brewers. i am now a serious christian yelich fan since i saw him on that slip n slide, oh YESSSSSSS, even if he can't play with that brokeass knee, and all yall can just hush seeing as how he just manages to slip (hehhehheh) under the half mah age plus 7 rule
   22. DFA Posted: September 23, 2019 at 03:15 PM (#5882272)
I really wonder when someone else wins the AL West. The Astros are such a dominant team and the rest of their division is either hamstrung by ownership or budgetary issues, it is difficult to predict when their run will end.
   23. base ball chick Posted: September 23, 2019 at 03:24 PM (#5882278)
DFA

if they do not re-sign gerrit cole, they just might could have a problem. mccullers is not cole - that is, IF he comes back and isn't hurt every other month. they'll have verlander the ace, greinke the good and, really, that is it
   24. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: September 23, 2019 at 03:26 PM (#5882279)
me i am definitely rooting for brewers


Oh wow, you really have abandoned rooting for the Astros. I remember you said you would if they got moved to the AL, but even after that happened you've made posts here that made it sound like you were still a fan.
   25. rconn23 Posted: September 23, 2019 at 03:35 PM (#5882282)
"The Yankees are behind both and then the other seven playoff teams kind of rummage in behind them."

I think the Astros are the best team, mainly because they have Verlander and I think that's the difference. I don't see a significant gap between the top 3 teams at all. A healthy Yankees lineup and a healthy Severino throughout the season and they would have likely wrapped up the best record in baseball.

Despite having the most injuries in the history of baseball for a single season, which is a fact, they have a better record than the Dodgers and are a just a game behind the Astros.

If the Yankees have Encarnacion and Sanchez back, the latter of which is the bigger if, I'll take my chances against the Dodgers anytime. But again, if I'm picking now, it's the Astros.


   26. Belfry Bob Posted: September 24, 2019 at 12:18 AM (#5882461)
A healthy Yankees lineup and a healthy Severino throughout the season and they would have likely wrapped up the best record in baseball.


This is like a pre-season assessment of 'your team' wherein you list the new toys 'your' team has without taking into account what any OTHER club has done.

Yes, the Yankees had a lot of injuries. The Astros lost big chunks of season from Springer, Correa, and Altuve - 3 of their 4 best position players. To assume that the Yankees 'would have the best record in baseball if they hadn't had all those injuries' could be true of the Astros, as well. Pointing out that they are only a game back of the Astros 'despite all their injuries' is to discount that the Astros had some pretty significant losses of their own.
   27. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 24, 2019 at 12:34 AM (#5882463)
In 2019, Yankees have lost 30 players to the IL for 2,556 days; the Astros lost 13 players for 866 days. The Yankees had $81,251,079 in payroll on the IL; the Astros $19,889,260. You can look it up.
   28. bunyon Posted: September 24, 2019 at 07:27 AM (#5882491)
There is no way to know how the teams play without injury. As we’ve seen with brewers.

I am pretty confident that predicting a much better record for teams with 100+ wins is a hard sell.
   29. PreservedFish Posted: September 24, 2019 at 09:10 AM (#5882498)
Base ball chick's abandonment of the Astros has been one of the saddest BBTF subplots, IMO.
   30. bunyon Posted: September 24, 2019 at 09:35 AM (#5882502)
@29: Agreed. But I understand it.

   31. SoSH U at work Posted: September 24, 2019 at 09:41 AM (#5882507)
It's not as if she didn't warn us.
   32. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 24, 2019 at 09:42 AM (#5882508)
Base ball chick's abandonment of the Astros has been one of the saddest BBTF subplots, IMO.

I wonder if she roots for them whenever they're playing in an NL park, where the game isn't (according to her) sullied by the presence of the unspeakable DH.
   33. PreservedFish Posted: September 24, 2019 at 10:04 AM (#5882514)
I root for the Astros, they're extremely fun to watch.
   34. Belfry Bob Posted: September 26, 2019 at 08:25 AM (#5883218)
In 2019, Yankees have lost 30 players to the IL for 2,556 days; the Astros lost 13 players for 866 days. The Yankees had $81,251,079 in payroll on the IL; the Astros $19,889,260.


Totally meaningless. I don't care 'how many' players the Yankees lost, a lot of those guys weren't important. The payroll comment is even less meaningful. Giancarlo makes a zillion dollars more than Springer...does that mean his loss is felt more acutely?

I wasn't comparing the two teams' injury situation, just pointing out that the Yankees weren't the ONLY team with significant injuries, and perhaps projecting another handful of wins 'if all those guys hadn't been hurt' is more of a fanboy comment than something to be taken seriously.

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