2021 Spring Training: Houston Astros Are Ready for Liftoff

The Houston Astros made it to the ALCS last season despite the cheating scandals that were going on. Houston trailed 3-0 in the ALCS against the Tampa Bay Rays. The Astros went on to force a Game 7, but they were shut out against Tampa Bay.

Houston will look to get back to the playoffs once again this season. They did lose outfielder George Springer in the offseason in free agency to the Toronto Blue Jays. Other than that, the Astros have most of the roster back this season from last season.

Houston will not have to worry about the Los Angeles Angels or the Seattle Mariners. The Oakland Athletics may be the favorites to win a weak American League West division. The Texas Rangers won’t be that bad this season, but Texas won’t be as good as the Houston Astros will be.

Dusty Baker will be the manager once again this season after A.J. Hinch was fired last season and so was former general manager Jeff Luhnow. James Click is currently the general manager for the Houston Astros. It may only take 85 wins for Houston to win this weak American League West division this season.

Starting Rotation

Zack Greinke, Framber Valdez, Cristian Javier, Lance McCullers Jr., and Jose Urquidy will be the starting pitchers for the Houston Astros. Justin Verlander is currently on the 60-day injured list.

Greinke will be the featured ace in this starting rotation for Houston. McCullers Jr. and Urquidy aren’t bad options in this rotation.

Valdez and Javier have a lot to prove in the Houston Astros starting rotation this season. Houston’s starting rotation could pose a problem all season for long for them.

Bullpen

Ryan Pressly (projected closer), Brooks Raley, Enoli Paredes, Andre Scrubb, and Luis Garcia will be the projected bullpen. The starting rotation will not be as weak as the Houston Astros bullpen.

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This has always been a problem for Houston, even when they won a World Series title in 2017 against the Los Angeles Dodgers and lost a World Series title in 2019 against the Washington Nationals. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Houston Astros blow a lot of leads this season.

Projected Lineup

(C) Martin Maldonado, (1B) Yuli Gurriel, (2B) Jose Altuve, (3B) Alex Bregman, (SS) Carlos Correa, (LF) Michael Brantley, (CF) Myles Straw, (RF) Kyle Tucker, and (DH) Yordan Alvarez.

Two of the key backups on the Houston Astros will be infielder Aledmys Diaz and outfielder Chas McCormick.

Altuve is one of the best second basemen in the game of baseball. He is the heartbeat of the Houston Astros. Jose Altuve is also one of the most electrifying players in all of baseball.

Bregman is one of the most underrated third basemen in all of baseball. He can field like a vacuum cleaner. Alex Bregman also has very good power when he is at the plate and can also hit for contact and steal bases.

Carlos Correa might be the most athletic player on the Houston Astros. He is also a very scary player at the plate and also with his glove.

Alvarez might hit the most home runs on this baseball team this season. He provides a ton of pop with his bat and he also provides the most power for the Houston Astros. Yordan Alvarez might be batting clean-up and also may participate in the home run derby.

Straw has the potential to be a breakout player in centerfield this season for the Houston Astros. He has all of the tools necessary to be a fundamentally sound player at the MLB level.

Key Dates

Sunday, February 28th: The start of spring training against the Miami Marlins.

Thursday, April 1st: Opening day on the road against the Oakland Athletics.

Thursday, April 8th: Home opener against the Oakland Athletics.

The Houston Astros could win the American League West this season and go on another run in the playoffs into the World Series or maybe miss it entirely.

Do you think the Houston Astros will make it to the playoffs this season or no? Leave a comment below.

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Follow Glenn Kaplan on Twitter @glennkaplan13.

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