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Schedule suggests the Astros have plenty of room to improve in May

The Astros are set to go on a journey of not-so-hard matchups. Beast mode needs to be activated!

MLB: Seattle Mariners at Houston Astros Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

The Astros had a shaky month of April. As a result of their inconsistencies, they lost first place in the AL West and finished with an 11-10 record. Houston collided with tough rivals during the first month of the season such as the Angels (twice) and Blue Jays (twice). However, they will have a chance to get the most out of a friendly schedule in May.

After sweeping the Mariners in a three-game series from Monday to Wednesday, the Astros will begin a four-game series against the Tigers, a bottom-of-the-division team with an 8-15 record. Houston didn’t have a good 2021 against Detroit, though, losing five of seven regular-season games.

Once they’re done at Minute Maid Park, they’ll face the first-place Twins for the first time this season. Minnesota got to Wednesday’s game winning nine of its last 10 contests, so it’ll be a tough matchup at least on paper. But immediately after visiting Target Field, they’ll head to Nationals Park for a three-game series against last-place Washington.

The Nationals could be an easy opponent for the Astros’ pitching as they have the fourth-worst OPS in the National League (.666). They’re last in home runs (14) and, in terms of pitching, they’re second-to-last in ERA (4.95). This will be their first matchup since 2017, when the Astros lost two out of three.

Then, Houston finishes its road trip with a visit to Fenway Park for a three-game faceoff against the Red Sox. Even though this should be a tougher rival for the Astros, the Red Sox are not in a good position right now as they came to Wednesday’s game with a 3-7 record in their last 10.

From May 19 to 21, Houston will host the Rangers at MMP, a team the ‘Stros have beaten 17 times in their last 23 games, going back to the 2021 campaign. They already faced Texas this year and won three out of four.

The Astros need to capitalize this month and make the most out of May. If they want to compete this year and be in a good place in the standings (and they do), their pitching, defense, and hitting need to be aligned and aimed to win in May and the first half of the June, when they’ll collide with the Royals, Rangers, and Mariners again. Time will tell!