The Houston Astros are once again champions of the American League West division.
Just a mere few days after securing their spot in the postseason for the seventh time in the last eight years, the Astros secured yet another AL West title, their sixth in the last seven years.
A 4-0 win over the Tampa Bay Rays gave them their 97th win of the season as they officially closed out the Seattle Mariners in the race for the division title.
The Astros lead the New York Yankees by eight games for the best record in the American League and trail the Los Angeles Dodgers by 5.5 games for the best record in all of baseball.
— MLB (@MLB) September 20, 2022
Astros Reclaim Perch Atop AL West
Like it or not, the Astros are still the cream of the crop in the AL West.
Many fans have been hoping and praying for them to fade ever since the 2017 sign-stealing scandal came to light.
But the Astros have remained a powerhouse, proving that even without banging trash cans, they are more than winning a World Series title and that 2017 likely was not a fluke.
Even after losing Carlos Correa to free agency, the Astros maintain a strong nucleus of players that includes Jose Altuve, Yordan Alvarez, Michael Brantley, Alex Bregman Justin Verlander, and Framber Valdez.
This team isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, as much as opposing fans may want that to happen.
The Astros have also secured a bye in the first round of the playoffs and home-field advantage in the ALDS.
With just a few weeks left in the season, clinching home-field through the ALCS seems to just be a formality at this point.
But for now, an AL West title will do just fine.