A 2012 AL West “What If” Standings Update

2012 AL West (Fiction) W L PCT GB
Texas Rangers 77 52 .597
Oakland Athletics 71 57 .555  5,5
Los Angeles Angels 66 62 .516 10.5
Seattle Mariners 63 67 .485 14.5
Houston Astros 40 89 .310 37.0

The “What If” standings of the 2012 American League West, of course, are really nothing more than the inclusion of the Houston Astros as though they were already there as members of their 2013 destination spot in big league baseball, but that small playfulness doesn’t make the picture any prettier.

On this morning of August 29th, the real plight of the 2012 Astros in the NL Central finds them in 6th, or last place, a full 38 games behind the first place Cincinnati Reds and 9.5 games behind the fifth place Chicago Cubs. In the fictional AL West, the fifth and last place Astros are “only” 37 games behind the first place Texas Rangers, but they are a gaping 22.5 games back of the fourth place Seattle Mariners, a full 14 deficit games worse than their real 20112 downside plight with the Cubs.

Worse view: Whereas, two of the clubs ahead of Houston in the 2012 NL Central are playing sub-.500 ball only Seattle is below the .500 ledger in the actual AL West. Texas, Oakland, and the LA Angels all are on the top side of .500 ball with clubs that should be strongly competitive for years if their core rosters hold.

So where does this broad ban look at the next few years in the AL West leave the Astros? Of course, it leaves them right where they are in reality – down in the valley of the performance curve on the long trek back to winning with a farm system that keeps new talent pumping into major league readiness as they go. And, as they improve, it doesn’t hurt to keep in mind that the Astros are moving into the company of some other clubs who shall also be doing their best to keep improving and stay competitive – and in a DH version of baseball that is a little more familiar territory to them than it will be to the new “American League Astros of 2013.”

Whatever. Whenever. However. And with whomever. It will be nice to see the Astros get back to a time in the future in which winning is again an expectation – and not an aberration.

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