Houston Astros: Why We Hate Them

bluesixstring
facebooktwitterreddit

The Houston Astros are a tough team for A’s fans to hate. With only two years as division rivals, the Houston Astros have yet to strike fear in the hearts of the Oakland Athletics with an overall .373 winning record and a .316 winning record against the A’s.

So, how can we hate a team that we’ve watched the A’s push around and own for two seasons now? Because they’re on the rise and no team can stay a loser forever.

The Houston Astros have not had a winning season since 2008 and have only led their division once since 2000, although they would enjoy three playoff berths and a trip to the world series in that time. In 2014, the Astros were able to add 19 wins to their season over 2013, or a more important way to look at it is that they gave away 19 losses, and finished 28 games behind first place instead of the previous year’s 45. That is tremendous growth for a team coming off of three consecutive 100+ loss seasons.

Where many teams try to rebuild their team in large chunks, the Houston Astros blew their team up completely and knew very well that they had several seasons of growth ahead of them before big success and while I don’t see them taking the division in 2015, they are not going to roll over and hand out 100 easy victories this year.

With guys like Luke Gregerson, Pat Neshek, Jed Lowrie and Chris Carter on the team, A’s fans know exactly what they can expect from certain parts of the staff and a young all star and Silver Slugger Jose Altuve is proving that you don’t need home run power to be a huge threat to the opposition. Altuve had a career year in 2014 in terms of hits, stolen bases and batting average and it is safe to assume that he has come into his own as a major leaguer with an offensive WAR of 6 last year.

You’ve also got the aforementioned Chris Carter who, in 2014, launched 37 balls over the fence and drove in 88 runners. His strike out numbers are high and his slash line isn’t going to get him to the hall but having him bat behind Altuve, who can easily turn a single into a double, could be a recipe for a lot of runs in 2015.

More from White Cleat Beat

In 2014, the Houston Astros ranked fourth in homeruns, but 21st in runs scored. If they can bring those numbers a bit closer together they will easily become the team that eliminates contenders from the post season.

As I’ve said in several articles, I believe the 2015 season could have three playoff teams come out of the AL West. With the Houston Astros becoming a more difficult victory, the team that beats them the most will probably win the division. Last year, against the Angels, A’s and Mariners, the Astros went 24/33 so adding even a couple wins to their season will take away crucial wins to their division rivals.

Will the Houston Astros win the division? Not in 2015. Can they land a fourth or third place finish? It’s certainly possible. Will they land over .500? If they don’t, they’ll be the closest they’ve been in six seasons but I think they may squeeze out a .500 year in 2015. Knowing that those wins will come at the expense of our beloved green and gold is exactly why we must hate them.

Next: Why We Hate the Angels

facebooktwitterreddit