Coming in at number three the young and loaded Houston Astros.
Projected Record: 95-67 1st in the AL West (AL West Champs)
Potential Lineup: 2B Altuve #27,RF Springer #4, SS Correa #1, LF Rasmus #28, DH Tucker #20, CF Gomez #30, 1B Singleton #21, 3B Valbuena #18, C Castro #15
Potential Rotation: 1.Keuchel #60, 2.McHugh #31, 3.Fires #54 , 4.Feldman #46, 5.Fister #58
Potential Bullpen: CL Giles #53, 8th Gregerson #44, 7th Harris #36 Mid Relief: Sipp #29, Fields #35, Neshek #37, Straily #57
Potential Bench: C Stassi #12, IF Gonzalez #9, OF Marisnick #6, IF Duffy #63
Injuries: DH/LF Gattis #11
After ending a three year streak of 100 loss seasons in 2014 the Astros took the ultimate step forward in 2015. Making the postseason for the first time and winning the AL Wild Card Game in the Bronx. The Astros where 6 outs away from advancing to the ALCS but a hungry Royals team rallied back in what would be a world championship run in KC. As for Houston the Astros look to improve upon the playoff season they put together in 2015. The offense is looking just about the same expect in 2016 they will have a full year of Carlos Correa. The young shortstop was nothing short of brilliant batting .279, hitting 22 homers, and driving in 68 runs in just 99 games played in route to winning the AL Rookie of the year award. The Astros offense finished 6th in runs scored and second in home runs and with almost the same offense returning in 2016 the production should be about the same if not better now that the Astros will have Correa for a full season and a healthy George Springer. The Astros pitching staff was led by the American league’s Cy Young award winner Dallas Keuchel. Keuchel won 20 games pitched to a 2.48 ERA, struck out 216 batters and proved to be a workhorse pitching over 230 innings. Young arms Colin McHugh, and Lance McCullers took steps forward as well in 2016. The success of the Astros pitching staff will rely on how well they can pitch when Keuchel and McHugh aren’t on the mound as Scott Kazmir left the team Via Free agency. If Mike Fires and Scott Feldman can pitch well Houston may have the top rotation in the AL West. The Astros bullpen took a step forward as well in 2015 finishing 6th best in the majors in bullpen ERA at 3.27. With the addition of flame throwing youngster Ken Giles at closer and moving Luke Gregerson who did a pretty good job as a first year closer a season ago back to the 8th inning role makes for a dangerous back end tandem to go along with solid mid relief arms Will Harris, Tony Sipp and Pat Neshek. The Astros young talent and balance makes them one of the teams to beat in the American league in 2016.