The Houston Astros have not had the dominant regular season we have become accustomed to.
Not including the COVID-shortened season, the Astros have won at least 95 games in each of the past five seasons.
Also, they took home the AL West crown in each of those years.
Well, this season things have been much more difficult for Houston.
That is because they have two challengers coming for their throne.
Both the Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners are having great seasons and are in a position to win the West.
But the Astros are proving they will not go down quietly.
The Astros had not been in sole possession of first place in the West all season.
But that is no longer the case.
As noted by Bob Nightengale, the Astros are officially in sole possession of first place in the West.
For the first time this season, the defending World Series champion Houston #Astros are in sole possession of first place in the AL West.
They have outscored the Texas #Rangers, 27-7, the first two games of their series in Arlington.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) September 6, 2023
That is due to their drubbing of the Texas Rangers in the first two games of the series.
Outscoring a team 27-7 is putting a number on them.
It seems that Houston is getting hot at the perfect time.
They are putting up some monster offensive performances led by second baseman Jose Altuve.
He has hit five home runs over the past two days.
According to OptaSTATS, those homers came in a span of seven innings which is the shortest span in MLB history.
Jose Altuve's 5 homers the last 2 days for the @astros came over a span of 7 innings (from the 6th inning on Monday through the 3rd inning on Tuesday).
That's the shortest span of team innings for a player to hit 5 home runs in MLB history. pic.twitter.com/qRR2uP5IG2
— OptaSTATS (@OptaSTATS) September 6, 2023
What Altuve is doing at the plate is otherworldly.
That is not even to mention the consistent contributions of Alex Bregman, Yordan Alvarez, and Kyle Tucker.
The defending champs seem to be getting hot at the right time, and that is bad news for the rest of MLB.NEXT: Jose Altuve Had A Night For The Ages Tuesday