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MLB Weekly Wrap: Astros running away

Through two months, the Astros look like serious contenders.

MLB: Houston Astros at Texas Rangers Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

It’s always nice when the World Series isn’t dominated by big market teams. There’s something refreshing about seeing some of the teams like the Royals, Rays, and Rockies advance to the Series in recent years.

Baseball needs its teams like the Yankees to be good most of the time, and they are this year, leading another big market team, the Red Sox, by three games in the American League East.

But baseball also needs some teams that don’t dominate every year to rise from the wood work, like the Astros. Houston’s big rebuild is paying off in a big way right now, as the Astros are currently 44-19 and 13 games clear of anyone else in the AL West.

Unsurprisingly, that record is tops in the majors, and the only other team with at least 40 wins is the Rockies, who lead the Dodgers by 2.5 games out west in the NL.

Isn’t the Astros’ success, led by young stars like Jose Altuve, George Springer, Carlos Correa, Dallas Keuchel, etc., exactly what Braves fans are hoping to come out of their rebuild? The Braves have spent so much effort into accumulating high-level potential talent, and the hopeful end product is something similar to what Houston puts on the field everyday.

There’s no way to tell how Houston will finish up this season or if they will be able to make a significant playoff push once it gets there, but it is nearly certain that the Astros should be a threat for the next several years, as many of the budding stars stay under team control.

So Braves fans, take heart. After the Astros made it to the World Series in 2005, they trudged through five mediocre seasons before completing tearing it all down after 2010. While they began to replenish their system, the big league club went through three straight seasons of win totals in the 50s.

After that, though, Houston made it back to the playoffs in 2015 and even won 84 games last season, but didn’t qualify for the postseason. The Astros are well on their way to flying past those win totals if current trends hold.

That team is ruling baseball right now, and is the product of what the Braves are trying to do right now as well.

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