#9 Houston Astros
2016 Run Differential: +23
Best Offseason Move: Acquiring Josh Reddick
Worst Offseason Move: Letting Luis Valbuena Sign Elsewhere
Heading into the 2017 regular season, the Houston Astros may have the deepest lineup in the league.
Brian McCann and Evan Gattis will both see time behind the plate, while Carlos Beltran will start at designated hitter.
In the outfield, George Springer mans center field. He’ll be flanked by a pair of new additions in Nori Aoki in left field and Josh Reddick in right field.
Moving to the infield, Alex Bregman will be the team’s starting third baseman. Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa return as arguably baseball’s best double-play duo. Elsewhere, Yulieski Gurriel starts at first base.
Not only are the Astros deep, but they are also flexible from a defensive standpoint. Beltran can see time in left field, while Gurriel can shift to third base if need be.
Additionally, utility ace Marwin Gonzalez is capable of logging innings at each infield position.
Houston will be hoping that the team’s offense can support a pitching staff that has some question marks.
Many of those question marks come in the starting rotation, where there isn’t a clear-cut fifth starter. What’s more, Dallas Keuchel and Collin McHugh are coming off down seasons.