The Houston Astros are the defending World Series champions.
They are a team that most people do not like due to their cheating scandal in 2017.
But, they have an incredible roster and are in contention every year.
Most years the Astros are far and away the top team in the AL West.
They usually have the division clinched halfway through September.
Yet, that is not the case this season.
The AL West is the most highly contested division in baseball.
The Astros, Texas Rangers, and Seattle Mariners are all in contention to win the division.
Houston is in first with a half-game lead over the other two teams.
But, the Astros have not been very good against top opponents this year.
According to Codify, Houston has a 36-43 record vs. teams with a winning record.
The 2023 Houston Astros are 36-43 against winning teams and 49-25 against losing teams.
— Codify (@CodifyBaseball) September 21, 2023
They make up ground by dominating the bad teams.
Their 49-25 record against losing teams is a big reason they are in first place.
Houston has nine games remaining in their season.
Six of the nine are against teams with winning records.
That will play a significant role in if the Astros can keep their lead in the AL West.
The biggest series of the year is coming up between the Astros and Mariners.
They meet for a three-game series from September 25-27.
Whoever wins that series could be the one holding the AL West crown at season’s end.
If the Astros are as good as they think, they need to defeat some of these good teams to end the year.NEXT: Alex Bregman Owns An Elite Stat For The Astros