Astros Win Series With Cubs, May Not Be Worst Team In League

HOUSTON - AUGUST 17: Pitchere Bud Norris #20 of the Houston Astros talks with manager Brad Mills #2 at Minute Maid Park on August 17, 2011 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Here's a riddle for you: when does the worst record in the majors not mean the team is the worst team in the majors? When the team brings up an entire Double-A team to pad out its lineup. With as many rookies as Houston has in its lineup every day, it's easy to look past their horrible record. Well, easy when you completely ignore the front page of Baseball Reference.

No, the 4-3 win yesterday afternoon was significant in that it showed Houston's marginally better than the Cubs, who are the second-worst team in the majors. Does that mean the Astros are going to go on another hot streak to end the season? Not likely. The question, though, is whether they have more upside right now than the Cubs. Chicago is an older team, but has plenty of youth in the lineup too. 

Houston certainly matches up with the Cubbies well. Chicago is the only team where the Astros are even close to winning the season series, sitting at 6-6 currently. Houston has a three-game series in Chicago in September. If they can win two of three...The Cubs are also the only team where Houston is close to outscoring at 62 runs scored and 53 runs allowed. 

Wednesday, we saw Bud Norris pitch well again and Mark Melancon worked through a bumpy ninth, which is probably more important than figuring out if Houston is a better team than the Cubs. But, if the Astros can NOT be the worst team in baseball and still get the No. 1 overall pick, I'd be a happy camper.

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