I hate to be the one to rain on the “Welcome to the American League” parade for the Houston Astros–but I will.
Houston ended the 2012 season with 107 losses, and it’s only going to get worse in 2013. Nothing against the Astros, but this team is going to be…well…bad. I foresee the Astros setting records during their first year in the AL, but not the kind of records that most teams want to be associated with.
The problem is that the Astros are built (and I use that word with all caution) like a National League team, and they couldn’t even win there. When you look over the Astros roster, in particular their starting pitching, it’s hard not to think that this team is going to suffer some monumental defeats against some of the slugging lineups they will face on a daily basis now that they are in the AL.
Fans in Houston will probably have never looked forward to interleague games as much as they will this year.
The record for number of losses in a MLB season belongs to the 1899 Cleveland Spiders with 134 losses. And while it may be a bit of a stretch to think Houston will lose that many games in 2013, it’s not out of the realm of possibility to think they could fall below the 119 loss 21st century benchmark set by the 2003 Detroit Tigers.
It’s entirely possible that the Astros will finish the season without a single starting pitcher having a winning record, a dubious honor that only the 3-1 record of Edgar Gonzalez kept off the books in 2012. It could also be argued that Houston will have the worst bullpen in the majors this season, which they were only .20 ERA points away from in 2012.
Yes, the trip to the American League is going to be a rough one for the Astros, and fans will have to weather the storm for at least a couple of years before Houston gets themselves settled into their new division and league.
But, on the bright side…
Ok, so there’s no bright side yet. But there will be. This franchise is too proud to roll over and take beatings for too long.