In my formative years of being an advanced baseball fan, the Astros have been very bad. I was an eighth grader in 2005 when Houston fell to the White Sox in the World Series. So, during my four years of high school and four years of college, while my baseball knowledge soared, Houston went from below average to bad to historically bad. Until now.
As you may have heard, the Astros won 18 of their first 25 games -- good for a .720 winning percentage. Many things went right in the first 25 contests for Houston, including a league-high 40 home runs and 31 stolen bases. Meanwhile, Houston has pitched to an ERA of 3.12 -- second-best in the American League.
The Astros fan in me would love to proclaim to the baseball world that Houston is back and ready to compete for a World Series. However, 25 games of 162 is a pretty small percentage -- 15.4 to be exact -- but we'll get back to that. Of course Astros fans should be excited with the state of the team, but plenty can happen with roughly five months remaining in the season. There are plenty of examples where teams caught fire early and then faded as the season progressed.
While baseball is my favorite sport, like many others, I certainly also enjoy the NFL and NBA. Often times, those two leagues took precedent in my sports attention span above the Astros while Houston stumbled to 90 or 100 loss seasons. One hundred and sixty two games is a lot, so using the NFL and the NBA, we can compare what an 18-7 MLB start looks like in seasons that don't have as many games
Going back to that 15.4 number -- the percentage of the MLB season played through 25 games -- we can figure out how that translates to the NFL and NBA seasons.
NFL: 2.46 games
NBA: 12.63 games
So basically, 15.4 percent of the NFL season is approaching halftime in Week 3. In the NBA, we're playing in the third quarter. Very, very early.
Now using Houston's .720 winning percentage, we can roughly translate a record in the early stages of the NFL and NBA campaign.
NFL: 1.77 wins
NBA: 9.1 wins
So basically, in the NFL the team would be on its way to a 2-1 start. In the NBA, things are slightly more clear with a 9-3 start.
If your favorite NFL team was 2-1 to begin the year, quality of opponent would certainly come into play, but any fan would likely be fine with that. In the NBA, a 9-3 start is encouraging, but it's only the third week of the season.
Speaking of quality of opponent, Houston has played only one series against a team with a record better than .500 (San Diego, 14-12). Of course, part of the reason the other four teams in the AL West are below .500 is Houston's 14-5 record in division games. The Astros have yet to play Detroit, New York (AL) and Kansas City -- the three teams that are jockeying with Houston for best AL record.
Enjoy the ride Astros fans, but pump the breaks a bit because there is plenty of season to go.