Think about the last 11 months: The Houston Astros were exposed as cheaters, and then the team struggled to a 29-31 record in the abbreviated 2020 regular season, managing to qualify for the postseason only because the rest of the American League West was so bad.
Then, the Astros—ranked 17th in MLB by the SRS—knocked off the the fifth-best team in baseball in the first round by sweeping two games on the road. That home team, the Minnesota Twins, had posted a 24-7 record on its own field in 2020.
That was fishy enough on its own. Then, Houston played the Oakland Athletics, a team that beat the Astros 7 times in 10 meetings during the regular season. The Astros again defied steep odds in beating the A’s, the ninth-best team during the year, three times in four games.
In the American League Championship Series this week, the Astros fell behind the Tampa Bay Rays—the fourth-best team in baseball—three games to none before somehow rallying back to win three straight games and tie up the series, forcing a Game 7 tonight.
Here are the offensive statistics for the Houston bats worth noting:
- Regular season: .240 batting average, .720 OPS, 4.65 runs per game
- Postseason: .275 batting average, .818 OPS, 5.00 runs per game
Are we supposed to believe that the Astros, now facing the best teams in baseball rather than the second-easiest schedule they faced during the regular season, are not cheating? After all, Houston went just 4-13 against teams over .500 during the regular season, but now the Astros have posted an 8-4 mark against the best teams in October.
Right. If you buy this, you really ought to have your head examined.
It’s ridiculous, even for MLB standards of looking the other way while big-market teams cheat their way to championships. If this is “America’s game” still, then this country has reached an all-time low for honesty and integrity—even more reason for us to ignore the sport in its current corrupt mode.