State of the AL West Standings: Houston Has No Problem
It’s a runaway out West.
The AL West standings look about the same now as they did a month ago. In a month, they will look the same still. That’s the magnitude of what the Houston Astros have done.
Sure, some people expected the ‘Stros to be the best team in the division. Most didn’t see a 12-game lead in June. This includes the best record in baseball as the All-Star break approaches. Okay, fine, Colorado is sneaking up on them from the NL, but the fact remains the Houston is the AL team to beat.
Digging into the AL West standings, we give our progress reports on the five contenders.
AL West Standings: State of the Race
Standings as of June 22, 2017 07:00 ET — all recent standings at link
|—||12.5 GB||13 GB||13 GB||17.5 GB|
AL West Standings: Houston Astros, 1st
Houston is doing it all this season. Hitting, check. The Astros average about 5.4 runs per game. George Springer has 21 dingers and .325 is Jose Altuve’s team-leading batting average. Pitching, check. Dallas Keuchel is back and Lance McCullers strikes out a lot of dudes. Houston has the lowest team ERA in the American League.
Oh, and defense? We’ll punt on this one, but it’s not the worst. They’re middle-of-the-road in fielding percentage.
The Astros have done more than enough so far, but October is a long way away. Overachieving would be the wrong word, because most expected them to be good. Better than expected, perhaps.
Houston’s Grade: A