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a look at the competition: The ‘Stros

March 29, 2006

 

ok, time to look at the competition during this final week before the regular season starts.

first up: houston astros

the 'stros are the reigning nl champs, but dont expect them to repeat. without clemens, they dont even have a chance. they have two very good starters in andy petitte and roy oswalt. the bullpen is probably the best if not one of the best in baseball. on the flip side, they got no offense. sure they added preston wilson, but so what? he is going to have 25 to 30 homers because of those dreaded crawfish boxes. bagwell is gone, and biggio is on the decline. they got two "legit." hitters in lance berkman and morgan ensberg, but i think last year was a fluke for ensberg. he is good, but i dont think he is that good. also, their shortstop adam everett cant hit a lick, and neither can brad ausmus, their catcher. so, there are three easy outs in the lineup: ss, c, and starting pitcher. thats way too much. their 3-5 starters are average at best unless one of them steps up his game. they might have an outside shot at the wild card, but i think the nl east will get that this year. either the braves or the mets will win the wild card.

so, my prediction: 'stros go 82-80, third place in the division

(UPDATE;11:23 a.m.) this is from a new article on mlb.com:

"KISSIMME, Fla. — Houston Astros manager Phil Garner announced today that right-handed pitcher Roy Oswalt will make his fourth consecutive Opening Day start when the Astros begin the 2006 Championship Season against the Florida Marlins on Monday, April 3 at 6:05 PM (CST) at Minute Maid Park in Houston. Left-hander Andy Pettitte (April 4 vs. FLA), right-hander Brandon Backe (April 5 vs. FLA), and left-hander Wandy Rodriguez (April 7 vs. WSH) will follow Oswalt in the rotation. The club's fifth starter remains to be announced."

nothing new there, i would have guessed he would start the first game of the season. he is the ace of the staff, im not overlooking petitte. andy is good, but he is no oswalt. roy has won 20 games two seasons in a row (i believe). rumors have come and gone about the astros swinging a deal to get zito. if that does not happen between now and the end of april, there is no point in making the deal. by the all-star break, they should be out of contention, at least for the division crown. so, if they are going to do it in the next month or so it would make since. it would make their starting pitching a lot better. still, a team cant win with all pitching and no offense, just ask roger clemens about last year.

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