Houston Astros: 5 Reasons to Still Want to Watch Astros Baseball in 2011

Kris TuttleContributor IAugust 22, 2011

Houston Astros: 5 Reasons to Still Want to Watch Astros Baseball in 2011

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    With an MLB worst record of 42-85, it may seem like there is not much to be excited about when it comes to the 2011 Houston Astros, but with the worst behind us, this young group will be fun to watch the last month-and-a-half as we play spoilers to National League playoff contenders.

    Just ask the San Francisco Giants.

Young Hitters

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    Had the Astros not been so far out of contention, the Hunter Pence, Michael Bourn and Jeff Keppinger trades never would have happened that opened the door for J.D. Martinez, Jose Altuve and now Jordan Schafer to start everyday.

    Both Martinez and Altuve were tearing it up in the minors and without the trades, neither would have been up with the big club this year.

    Just a quick comparison since the trade:

    Martinez .278 5 HR 21 RBI

    Pence  .318 4 HR 11 RBI

    I’m not trying to say that Martinez is at Pence’s level yet, but with Pence hitting arbitration next season, J.D. will cost about $9.5 million less than Pence

New Owner

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    The sale of the Astros from Drayton McLane to Jim Crane is expected to be approved by the MLB owners any day now.

    This may not be something as visible as the new players on the team, but this is great news for the Astros and their fans.

    Crane is expected to put more resources into player development, which is something that has needed to happen for a long time. It is always more fun to see a guy succeed who came through the minor league system rather than someone that established themselves elsewhere.

Nothing To Lose

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    Having been eliminated from playoff contention long ago, this team has nothing to lose.

    The Astros are jokingly being called a Quadruple-A team, given the amount of players making their first appearances in the Major Leagues, this team has no expectations. 

    Players like J.D. Martinez, Jose Altuve and Jimmy Paredes are not being pressured to perform at a veteran level. Not having to fear a demotion has got to do wonders for a young guy still trying to get accustomed to the level of play.

Great Ballpark Deals

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    Sporting events are expensive to attend, which deters fans from going to the ballpark, especially when the team has a losing record.

    The guys in charge have finally realized this and have started to offer great ticket deals to draw fans in.

    With options such as buying one adult ticket and getting two children's tickets for free or dynamic pricing where demand for each individual game sets the ticket value, it’s finally affordable to attend more than just one game a season.

Playing Spoilers to Division Rivals

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    Since we obviously will not be going to the playoffs, what could be more fun than ruining the playoff hopes of others?

    Just this weekend, the Astros took two of three from the defending world champion San Fransisco Giants.

    Over the last month of the season, the Astros will have home series against both the St. Louis Cardinals and the Milwaukee Brewers, the top teams in the NL Central.

    I love Lance Berkman, but it will be nice to be a thorn in his new team's side down the stretch.