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Astros Season on the Brink

Updated: Jun 26, 2023

How the Rest of June may set the tone for the rest of the season for the Astros.

One of the best things about being retired is that you have the flexibility to do what you want/ need to do in a day. Today was that kind of day for me. I didn't wake up knowing I would spend my day talking about the Astros with different groups in Twitter Spaces, but I did. Honestly, after hour one it felt like group therapy or the kind of problem-solving sessions I had so many times in my industrial career.

We kind of settled into a few topics today. One was that the Astros needed to play small ball. I wrote about that earlier. They tried tonight but they just couldn't win.

The second topic was essentially what could happen between now and when the Astros meet the Rangers on June 30th in Arlington. We agreed that next eighteen games were pivotal to where the Astros 2023 season could go.

Alvarez was put on the 10-day IL today, but the tone of the Astros officials makes me believe he will be out longer than 10 days. For the purpose of this exercise, I will assume Alvarez returns for the Rangers on June 30th but not before.

What is on the Astros Schedule

Astros remaining June Schedule

The Astros are fortunate that the next 18 games are not against the hottest teams in the MLB.

Three in Cleveland- I think the Astros will go 1-2. They lost tonight 6/9/23 in 14 innings.

Washington at home for three- If the Astros were at full strength, I might predict a sweep here, but they aren't. Let's say 2-1.

Cincinnati at home for three-The Reds are building and growing, Let's say 2-1.

Mets at home for three- Who know what Mets team shows up 10 days from now. I am going to guess the Astros go 2-1.

Three in LA vs. the Dodgers- The Dodgers are good. The Astros are depleted, but the Dodgers are too. I think the Dodgers will be fired up and sweep here - 0-3.

Three in St. Louis- The Cardinals are another enigma team. I think they are going to get better, and I will say the Astros go 1-2 here.

You may think this is WAY too harsh and negative to think the Astros go 8-10. I think that is how much the Astros are going to miss Yordan Alvarez. If you put this together then the Astros enter the Rangers series 44-37 at the season halfway point.

I know Astros fans in general have dismissed the Rangers and just assume the Astros are going to catch them. I think that is a little foolish, but I understand that they have had one of the easiest schedules to this point and have one of the hardest remaining schedules. So what could they do between now and when the Astros come to town on June 30th?

Rangers Remaining June Schedule

What is on the Rangers Schedule?

The competition for the Rangers over the next 20 games until 6/30/23 has several challenging series.

Three in Tampa Bay- I think the Rangers will go 1-2 vs. the tough Rays. They lost tonight 6/9/23.

Angels at home for four- The Rangers are 21-9 at home this year. I think they can go 3-1 vs. the Angels.

Toronto at home for three- I think the Rangers will have a showdown series with the Blue Jays. Let's say they go 2-1 at home.

Three in Chicago vs. the White Sox- I don't know what to expect from the White Sox anymore. I think the weight of their start will slow them down vs. the supremely confident Rangers and Texas goes 2-1.

Three in New York vs. the Yankees- I think the Yanks will be highly motivated at home and Texas will only go 1-2.

Detroit at home for four- One might think the Rangers sweep here but I will call it 3-1 for Texas.

You may think this is WAY too easy on the Rangers. I would say the confident Rangers are better than you think. If you put this together then the Rangers host the Astros on 6/30/23 with a record of 52-29.

This would put the Rangers up 8 games on the Astros. Sure, the Astros COULD make that up, but it won't be easy. There are ten games left between the two teams in the second half of the season. If the Rangers are 52-29 at the midway point and they only went 41-40 in the second half of the season, they would wind up 93-69. The Astros would have to go 49-32 to end up tied. Possible YES. Probable NO.

Here is the bigger issue for the Astros. It is NOT just the Rangers they have to contend with. As we showed, the Astros are five games behind the Rangers for the AL West. There are SEVEN teams within that same five games above or below the Astros competing for THREE Wild Card Spots. After tonight Cleveland is only 5.5 games behind the Astros.

It has been a long time since the Astros really had to focus on a full season wild card race. While they chase the Rangers, they better watch their backs. I did the same exercise for the other top AL Wildcard contenders.

AL Wildcard Contenders- Rest of June

On June 30th, When the Astros go to Arlington, I think it will be clearer to Astros fans how much of a challenge we have ahead. I think the Astros will be tied for fourth place in the wild card- albeit only 0.5 games behind Toronto.

On June 30, the Astros could be eight games behind the Rangers and in a complete battle with seven other teams for three wild card spots in the 2H of 2023.

Yes, the stretch of games we started on 6/9/23 are critical. The Astros season is on the brink. Without Yordan, EVERYONE will have to contribute. Even Astros fans will have to cheer louder when the team is at home.

This stretch of game will determine what the Astros do in July. Win and they will trade for the critical parts needed to compete in the postseason. Lose badly and this team is far more likely to be sellers than buyers. It truly is the season on the brink.

Get ready Astros fans for a wild ride.

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