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SB Nation Reacts: Yes, the Astros are still good

Although detested across much of baseball, the Astros are viewed as the slight favorites to win the AL West.

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MLB: Houston Astros at Oakland Athletics Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across MLB. Each week, we send 30 polls to plugged in fans from each team. Astros fans, sign up HERE to join Reacts.

For the Astros, the 2021 season has gotten off to a fairly good start. Only two games, yes, but it does appear that the players have their swagger back in an impressive two-game showing to start the new campaign. Although there is plenty of time left for things to awry, it was a positive first step against a division rival in Oakland.

The AL West projects as a close division this season, especially among the presumed top three teams in the Astros, A’s, and Angels. According to the latest SB Nation results, that reality is reflected in the voting with Houston leading the way at 36 percent.

To change things up and provide a fresh perspective, SB Nation polled a couple of division rivals to see how good they think the Astros would be in 2021. First up are fans of the Mariners, where 71 percent believe Houston would be a quality club this season.

Next up is the intrastate rival from Arlington. Considering the intense rivalry between the two clubs since 2013, it actually comes as no shock that fewer Rangers fans view the Astros as a good club than their Mariner counterparts.

At the end of the day, I do wonder how large a role that the sign-stealing scandal played in the voting. It can’t be a non-factor, that’s for sure. If the first two games are any indication, the Astros’ lineup looks like it’ll be quite formidable in 2021.

Even with all of the excitement for Opening Day, a dark cloud still seems to loom over the sport. Between the still active pandemic, controversial rule changes, and the potential for work stoppage next winter, fans have a variety of feelings right now towards the game.

To vote in the Reacts surveys and have your voice heard each week, sign up here.