The Astros are a very good team. Let me emphasize the “very good” part again. It is not by accident that Houston has the third-best record (81-46) in baseball entering Wednesday. Only the Dodgers with plus-223 runs have a better differential than the Astros’ plus-182 mark. FanGraphs has the club winning 103 games this season, which would match the franchise record that was set last season.
As the month of August is quickly approaching its end, right now felt like an optimal time to check where the Astros stand on various odds. After all, September is the last month of the season and it is quality practice to see where the team stands. For starters, let’s take a look at the overall postseason odds in the AL West.
Per the graph above, the Astros currently have a 100 percent chance of making the postseason. That’s about right for the club with the third-best record in baseball. That said, I’m sure there is some rounding involved, so Houston’s actual postseason odds is likely 99.9999 percent or something similar. Baseball-Reference and FiveThirtyEight agree as both sites currently give the Astros a >99.9 percent chance of qualifying for the postseason. In theory, which is insanely wild, the Astros could still miss the postseason for the first time since 2016. For that scenario to pass, however, would necessitate a complete and utter collapse which we have never seen before. Playoff baseball in Houston is virtually a guarantee at this point.
The odds for a third-consecutive AL West title also looks to be in strong position as FanGraphs currently projects 99.7 percent. Baseball-Reference follows up with a 97.6 percent chance while FiveThirtyEight projects at 99 percent for Houston to clinch the division.
Compared to roughly one calendar year ago, when the Astros and A’s were tied for first place in the division, Houston currently sports a healthy eight-game lead over Oakland. That lead was tested, though, during the past weekend when the A’s took three out of four games in sunny California. But there ought to be no real surprises on this front, however, there have been times in the last decade where we’ve seen wild finished materialize in September. The 2011 season automatically comes to mind with that intense Wild Card situation in both leagues. The Astros and A’s do play four more times in September at Minute Maid Park, which could either cement Houston’s division title or make the last two weeks of the season a more interesting affair.
When it comes to actual odds to advance in the postseason, there isn’t a team in the AL with higher odds than Houston. For example, the club currently sports a 65.7 percent chance of winning the AL Division Series from FanGraphs.
Followed by a 43.0 percent chance to clinch the AL Pennant.
Of course, these odds are subject to change. Even possessing the highest odds in the AL doesn’t truly guarantee victory by any sort of measure. The Astros had a 68.7 percent chance to clinch the pennant last season following their Game 1 victory against the Red Sox in last year’s AL Championship Series. We all know how that series panned out.
When it comes down to the grand prize, which is winning the World Series, the Astros are also the favorite with a 29.3 percent chance via FanGraphs. The Dodgers have the second-best odds at 18.2 percent entering August 21.
Baseball-Reference allots Houston a 12.6 percent chance of winning it all while FiveThirtyEight aligns more closely with FanGraphs at 23 percent. All in all, those are really good odds. The Astros are in prime position to make another deep postseason run. Let’s see how it unfolds.