Are you a doom and gloomer, convinced that the Astros are plummeting toward their fourth 100-loss season in a row? It could of course happen. They had a horrific July, going 8-17. Their current record (as of now, Saturday afternoon) is 45-65 (.409), which puts them on pace for 95 or 96 losses. It wouldn't require much of a slump to get that number up to 100. Add to that the belief by some that the Astros once again traded for the future at the expense of the present and it really could happen again.
Before you pencil it in, though, you'd better take a look at the August schedule. Because it's soft. Insanely soft. Granted, that's followed by a tough September finish but August is so soft that the Astros could build quite a 'cushion of mediocrity'. Let's take a closer look.
There are 28 remaining games in August, with two days off. Fifteen of those games are at home. Of those 28 games, 23 are against teams under .510. Twenty of those are against teams under .500 and a full 17 are against teams .450 and under. There is a span of 13 in a row of those, as a matter of fact. Seven of those 13 are against the Rangers, the worst team in MLB.
What might this mean? Well, of course, who knows? Predicting baseball is a fool's game so here goes. It wouldn't shock me if their August record wound up a few games above .500. I expect them to at least get close to .500, which would put them at roughly 60 wins going into September, which would all but eliminate the possibility of another 100-loss disaster of a season.
What about the draft order? A high pick is pretty close to guaranteed, though I have predicted that they might wind up closer to picking 10th than 3rd. I guess that would put that particular guess at around 7th or 8th, which I still think could happen, though if I were a betting man I'd probably guess 5th or 6th.
Chime in. What do you think? How many losses will this team wind up with? Where will they pick in the draft?