*Jim Crane expects to be in the playoffs this year, writes USA Today's Bob Nightengale. Also, Crane:
You always need more pitching. We would have loved to have Chapman and Sale, too. But we're a mid market team. We look at a lot of stuff but can't go crazy on the payroll. We can't afford to make a mistake on a bad contract.
Read the full article.
*Evan Grant seems to think that the report of the Rangers stepping up their pursuit of Jose Quintana is a ploy by the White Sox to re-engage the Astros.
*Beyond the Box Score asks when the Astros will break through.
It's not truly fair to compare the Astros to the Cubs, especially since one of these teams is coming off a World Series victory. However, it's difficult not to see parallels between such young, talented teams.
*FanGraphs examines why the Astros didn't catch Chris Correa snooping around in Ground Control.
*FanGraphs asks if the Cardinals deserved a competitive balance pick in the first place
*Francis Martes has some of the best tools in the game.
*New Zealand is feelin its oats, giving Whataburger Field and Minute Maid Park two spots in the Eight Worst Stadium Names In Sports.
*For just $37.9m, you can buy Jim Crane's house in Pebble Beach.
*Former Astros reliever Anthony Young has an inoperable brain tumor.