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1 ASTROS

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OVERALL RANK 3

ENEMY LINES

A RIVAL SCOUT SIZES UP HOUSTON

We all thought they were on the cusp of dominating after their playoff breakthrough two years ago, but this team has some big flaws.... I'd be worried about the durability and depth of the staff. Dallas Keuchel is just not a Cy Young--caliber pitcher. He's more the guy we saw last year, allowing a hit per inning, with a four-something ERA. He has never had dominating stuff, and hitters have made adjustments.... Lance McCullers is the guy with the lights-out stuff, but health is a big issue.... They paid a steep price for Ken Giles and he had a rough start, but that was just a hiccup—a guy going from one league to another. His troubles are behind him.... . I like the offense. Yulieski Gurriel is the unknown. He's not a huge power guy, but he can control the bat. But he's also 32, so there's not a ton of upside.... Josh Reddick comes to a hitter-friendly park—he's going to put up some good numbers. He's a bounce-back candidate, for sure.... Alex Bregman is a hard contact guy who puts the barrel on the bat. I love this kid. He's not going to light it up with power, but he'll hit for average. He reminds me of Dustin Pedroia.... Carlos Beltrán, with the leadership he offers to a young team that needs it, is a perfect fit. This is one more reason why Carlos Correa could be the MVP this year.... George Springer is an enigma. The talent is off the charts, but he's also a 180-strikeout guy. If he cuts down on them, he's Mike Cameron—a nice power-speed combination.... Brian McCann's skills are diminishing, but he still has power, and with that short porch in left, he could put up surprising numbers.

MANAGER A.J. HINCH

3RD SEASON WITH HOUSTON

B-T BA OBP SLG WAR

CF GEORGE SPRINGER [BARGAIN] [RISING]

R-R .261 .359 .457 5.0

2B JOSÉ ALTUVE [DEFENSIVE STAR] [BARGAIN]

R-R .338 .396 .531 7.7

SS CARLOS CORREA [TEAM MVP] [BARGAIN] [RISING]

R-R .274 .361 .451 5.9

DH CARLOS BELTRÁN [NEW ACQUISITION] [DECLINING]

S-R .295 .337 .513 2.0

C BRIAN MCCANN [NEW ACQUISITION] [DEFENSIVE STAR] [DECLINING]

L-R .242 .335 .413 0.9

3B ALEX BREGMAN [BARGAIN] [RISING]

R-R .264 .313 .478 1.8

RF JOSH REDDICK [NEW ACQUISITION] [BARGAIN]

L-R .281 .345 .405 2.6

1B YULIESKI GURRIEL

R-R .262 .292 .385 0.2

LF NORI AOKI [NEW ACQUISITION] [DECLINING]

L-R .283 .349 .388 1.5

BENCH

B-T BA OBP SLG WAR

IF EVAN GATTIS [DECLINING]

R-R .251 .319 .508 3.0

OF JAKE MARISNICK [DEFENSIVE STAR]

R-R .209 .257 .331 1.7

W--L ERA K/9 WAR

LH DALLAS KEUCHEL [DEFENSIVE STAR] [BARGAIN]

9--12 4.55 7.7 0.5

RH COLLIN MCHUGH

13--10 4.34 8.6 1.2

RH MIKE FIERS [INJURY RISK]

11--8 4.48 7.2 0.3

RH LANCE MCCULLERS [INJURY RISK] [BARGAIN] [RISING]

6--5 3.22 11.8 1.6

RH CHARLIE MORTON [NEW ACQUISITION] [INJURY RISK]

9--9 4.81 6.7 -0.8 [2015 STATS]

SV ERA K/9 WAR

RH KEN GILES [BARGAIN] [RISING]

15 4.11 14.0 -0.2

RH LUKE GREGERSON

15 3.28 10.5 0.6

NEW ACQUISITION

2016 STATS

(R) ROOKIE

*2015 STATS

TEAM MVP

DEFENSIVE STAR

INJURY RISK

BARGAIN

RISING

DECLINING

MODEST PROPOSAL

Having signed Carlos Beltrán and Josh Reddick and traded for Brian McCann, the Astros have sharply increased their team age and accelerated their timeline for winning. Even with that, though, they're short one piece—a frontline starting pitcher. Dallas Keuchel's 2016 performance was a reminder of his limitations, while Lance McCullers has never thrown more than 160 innings in a season. To hold off the Rangers and the Mariners, they must spend more prospect depth—righty Francis Martes or outfielder Kyle Tucker—on a top-end hurler. The Braves' Julio Teheran would be the perfect fit.

BOTTOM LINE

Tons of talent at bat and in the field, but can the team of the future become the team of today?