Before the season started, the best case scenario for the Houston Astros was a .500 record and the chance to give younger players more major league experience, then possibly build from there.
With yesterday's loss at the hands of the Los Angeles Dodgers guaranteeing them a losing record for the season, the fact that they traded away their two best players and a change in ownership nearing, it’s safe to say that best-case scenarios are out the window.
The only thing the Astros are winning these days is the race (with the Baltimore Orioles and others) to secure the No. 1 pick in next year’s MLB Draft. With that being said, someone has to wonder: Will the Astros win another series this season?
With the Astros already losing the first two games of this weekend's series against the Dodgers, they have already lost their chance at winning this matchup. After the Astros finish with the Dodgers, they have 13 series (two of them are four-game series) left in the season.
I will break them down to which ones they have the best possibility of winning, which ones they have a slight chance of winning and the ones they have no chance of winning. It won’t be easy, but there is a chance they could come out on top again this season.
Three games vs. San Francisco Giants (Aug. 19-21)
Four games @ San Francisco Giants (Aug. 25-28)
Three games vs. Milwaukee Brewers (Sept. 2-4)
Three games vs. Philadelphia Phillies (Sept. 12-14)
Three games vs. St. Louis Cardinals (Sept. 26-28)
The good news with this list is that Astros fans get to see ex-Astros Roy Oswalt, Hunter Pence and Brad Lidge (maybe not Lidge) when the Phillies come into town from Sept. 12 to 14.
The reason we have no chance to win any of these series is obvious: All these teams are really good, and all of them are or will be fighting to win their division or wild-card spots.
The three-game series against the Cardinals is the last series of the year, and they will not let up because of their battle with the Brewers. It's safe to say the Astros won't be upsetting any of these teams down the stretch.
Three games @ Colorado Rockies (Aug. 22-24)
Three games @ Pittsburgh Pirates (Sept. 5-7)
Three games @ Chicago Cubs (Sept. 16-18)
Three games @ Cincinnati Reds (Sept. 19-21)
Three games vs. Colorado Rockies (Sept. 22-25)
None of these teams are great teams. None of the teams are good teams. All of them are average at best.
What places them on the "slight chance" list is that all of the series will be played on the road (except one). Not to mention that the Astros aren’t too good themselves, so the below-average teams (i.e. the Los Angeles Dodgers) still beat them.
The Astros' best bet would be the Rockies coming into Houston on September 22nd. The fact that it is a four-game series is the only thing holding them back from winning that series. I don’t think any team will allow the Astros to beat them 3-1 in any series, and definitely not 4-0.
Three games vs. Chicago Cubs (Aug. 15-17) ***WINNER, WINNER***
Three games vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (Aug. 29-31)
Three games @ Washington Nationals (Sept. 9-11)
Now we can get to the good news (hey, you have to think positively). These are three series being played that involve below-average teams. Two of them are played at home, and those same two are played against familiar division foes.
If the Astros are going to get it done, you are staring at the three most realistic shots they have.
It has been a tough year for the Astros, and for anyone who considers themselves a fan of the team. The organization, the players and the fans knew a long time ago that this season would not end well, and big changes were going to be made.
A great deal of changes have already been made, but more changes are on the horizon. The only thing that would mess the season up any more is for them to win too many series, and not receive the No. 1 pick in next year’s draft.