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How To Bet On Houston Astros – American League Preview: Houston Astros

Posted by Dale "Skip" Lalonde on 3/5/2013 6:12:51 PM

When people in the online sports betting legal realm contemplate the balance of power in the American League, they're going to arrive at a very easy decision with respect to the league's newest member. The Houston Astros have been imported from the National League Central to the American League West. They're meant to be a geographical partner for the Texas Rangers so that the two teams can play each other a lot more. The pairing also exists so that the West Coast teams in the division – Seattle, Los Angeles, and Oakland – can make a double-swing through the state of Texas and play six games at a time in the state instead of just three or four. There will be a streamlined schedule in the A.L. West this season.

The results will not be pretty at all for the Astros.

Even football betting gurus who don't ordinarily follow baseball can look at last year's standings and conclude with great confidence that Houston will finish last… no, not just in the American League West, but in the entire American League and, for that matter, all of Major League Baseball. 

If poker games provide a bad hand to a novice card player, baseball is dealing Houston an awful hand, since the Astros have a lot of novices in their own right. Through terrible mismanagement and a clear inclination to skimp on salary-based expenditures, Houston's ownership has become content to mimic the Pittsburgh Pirates of the past 15 years, fielding a team that is only marginally better than a triple-A team in terms of quality. As you look throughout the Houston roster, you will be struck by the no-name players at so many positions.

Jason Castro and Carlos Corporan are the catchers on the roster. Jose Altuve and Tyler Greene are the second basemen. Matt Dominguez and Jimmy Paredes are the third basemen. Jake Elmore and Marwin Gonzalez are the shortstops. Can you readily identify any of these guys? Only first baseman Carlos Pena lends a quality bat and a big-name presence to the Houston infield. The outfielders on the roster – Fernando Martinez, J.D. Martinez, Brandon Barnes, and Justin Maxwell – are just as anonymous as most of the infielders are.

The team's starting pitching is frighteningly underequipped. Bud Norris – a pitcher who has had an uncanny level of success in shutting down the St. Louis Cardinals over the years – will no longer be able to pitch against St. Louis on a regular basis in the American League. Yet, he's probably the ace of the staff. Dallas Keuchel and Philip Humber will try to give him a measure of support, but they're going to have their hands full. In the bullpen, Jose Veras – a decidedly mediocre reliever with the New York Yankees and other clubs – is probably the only name that a casual baseball fan could pick from a list of eight relievers. This is basically a minor-league team with a dirt-cheap payroll. What magnifies Houston's problems is that in the American League, the Astros will face even more quality hitters and will therefore be that much more outgunned than they already were in the National League. If this team manages to lose fewer than 100 games, it will be a minor miracle.  

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