After 2½ months, the Astros are in a place so many are accustomed to seeing them, atop the American League West and well above .500. Both facts are blips on the baseball radar. The past five seasons have raised expectations in Houston. American League West championships are anticipated and sometimes not appreciated.
The Astros’ new measure of success starts and ends in the World Series. Whether this club is capable of capturing one remains a mystery. Its trajectory this season shares few similarities with the five that preceded it. The lineup is not scoring runs at a rate anyone expected. The bullpen, once a constant source of consternation, might be the team’s biggest strength.