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Crazy prediction of the day: Steve Berthiaume and the Astros

Sep 20, 2010, 9:13 AM EDT

“The Houston Astros will win the NL Central in 2011. I’m calling it right now — Astros ’11 division champs.”

ESPN’s Steve Berthiaume, waxing a bit too optimistically, methinks, over the Astros downright respectable second half.

I don’t want to take too much away from the Astros’ impressive in-season turnaround, but there’s no escaping the fact that, in addition to the legitimate improvements the team has made, the Astros’ schedule has gotten considerably easier in the second half of the season than it was in the first half.

Obviously a lot will happen in the offseason. As I sit here today I’d feel fairly comfortable picking them to finish third again, depending on what the Brewers do. But first place? Sorry, can’t feature it.

  1. Chris Fiorentino - Sep 20, 2010 at 9:32 AM

    Myers had the season of his life. They traded away their franchise ace for a guy who will top out as a #3. They are still paying Lee $38 million the next two years…and yes, they are actually paying Oswalt $11 million the next two years…OUCH!!! Yes, they have alot of young arbitration eligible players next year, and have a bunch of extra cash laying around to spend. But I’m not sure I’d put all my eggs into the Brett Myers/Wandy Rodriguez/J.A. Happ basket. Although, they did come into Philly and sweep the Phillies so anything can happen!!!

  2. mcsnide - Sep 20, 2010 at 10:27 AM

    Based on Buck Martinez, I’m calling it now. The Baltimore Orioles will be the AL East champs in 2011

  3. APBA Guy - Sep 20, 2010 at 11:12 AM

    Berthiaume is getting carried away, although he is the preferred baseball host since he actually has some knowledge of the game and a decent sense of humor. I wouldn’t call the A’s for first place, and they have a better team than the Astros. I can’t imagine the Reds and Cards suddenly backsliding below the Stros. Another year of age and weight on Carlos Lee will probably render him completely ineffective. They are heading in the right direction, though, and that’s good for the Houston fans.

  4. bbeer - Sep 20, 2010 at 11:32 AM

    What do you see the Brewers doing? As a fan, I wanna say they get rid of prince for pitching, and the young guys tear it up and bam central champs. But, that prediction is obviously a bit biased. Your thoughts?

  5. Kell Varnsen - Sep 20, 2010 at 7:27 PM

    Unlike most (all) his colleagues, Berthiume actually makes his case, he goes over the Astros position by position. If you’re going to bother to feature his post for the purposes of disagreeing with it, you can probably do better than citing their schedule for their improvement, it’s really not a compelling explanation. In fact it’s debable their schedule is even got easier as the season went on, it’s pretty mixed.

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