The Houston Astros have emerged like a bat out of hell so far this season. The Astros are on an 11-game win streak and are on an historic pace, and they could be competing for championships for years to come.
4. Their Historic Pace
The AL West might as well be in the bag for the 'Stros, as they are boasting a 42-16 record just 58 games the 2017 season, something that hasn't been seen since the Mariners in 2001, who ended up setting the single-season wins record. And it only gets easier. A season like this with a roster stocked with young players? Yeah, that'll get you motivated to carry things over into next year.
3. Offensive Dominance
In the midst of the home run era, teams that seek dynasty status must boast an overpowering offense, something that the Astros definitely have. They have outscored their opponents by 106 runs, which is 24 more than the closest team. Houston ranks first in the league in runs, home runs and hits, while being top-five in nearly every other category. Crimety.
2. Dominant Pitching
It's one thing to be able to hit it far and consistently, but if the pitchers aren't as dominant as the bats, then a team stands a far lower chance of winning a World Series, much less becoming a dynasty. The Astros pitching has improved since 2016, adding an extra strikeout per nine innings and increasing their collective ground ball rate. Improving these areas of the defense have helped drop Houston’s team-wide ERA by more than a half a run.
1. Star Players are Locked Up
It's not enough to have great pitching and batting for one year. In order to be a dynasty, teams have to figure out a way to keep their core players locked down for years to come. Among those are their franchise players, such as Dallas Keuchel (through 2018, and who'd surely be open to staying), Jose Altuve (through 2019) and Carlos Correa (through 2021).