Houston Astros


Houston Astros


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Team Strengths: The Astros are second to none when it comes to homegrown position players, with Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, Alex Bregman and George Springer leading an offense that finished sixth in the majors in runs last year. They added Michael Brantley in free agency and have more bats on the way in prospects Kyle Tucker and Yordan Alvarez.
Team Weaknesses: The Astros’ track record of developing homegrown pitching is shaky, and they won’t receive a boost from successes Dallas Keuchel (free agency) or Lance McCullers Jr. (Tommy John surgery) this year. They’ve been able to paper over that shortcoming with trades (Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole), but the back of Houston’s rotation will be thin if none of prospects Josh James, Framber Valdez, Forrest Whitley, Corbin Martin or J.B. Bukauskas can reverse the club’s track record of developing starters.
What They Did About It: The Astros signed Wade Miley to give their rotation some more depth after losing Keuchel and Charlie Morton in free agency. Still, one of the aforementioned prospects is going to have to step up if the Astros are to lead the majors in ERA, as they did last year.
Final Outlook: The Astros’ offensive firepower and top of the rotation should be enough to secure a third straight division title. How much their young pitchers chip in will determine how far they go in the postseason.

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