*The Astros were off yesterday. We are ten days away from Opening Day, nearing the end of the most interminable offseason ever. FanGraphs has given us a gift, however, and there will be more on this later, but their first Playoff Odds projection has gone live.
The Astros, as of the projections, are at:
96.3% to win the AL West
98.7% to make the playoffs
60.1% to win the ALDS
36.3% to win the Pennant
24.5% to win the World Series
World Series odds as of this morning:
Los Angeles: 12.3%
New York: 11.6%
God bless us, everyone.
*Check out Jeff Sullivan's pre-season explainer on the 2018 Strength of Schedule.
*Mike Lupica says GMs are looking for their own A.J. Hinch.
*Sports Illustrated made their prediction: Nationals over Yankees. Oh and be sure to check out the sweet two SI covers that feature the Yankees (of course) and the [squints] Angels.
*The Astros as a team are excited for Jose Altuve. Justin Verlander, on Altuve's extension:
Even in my short time here, I've easily seen what he means to that city and how that city has embraced him. In this clubhouse, I think everybody is ecstatic for him. This is a very unique clubhouse...it seems like family; everybody gets along so well. I think everyone is so excited for him and his family and truly, truly happy to see somebody like Jose be able to sign a contract like that.
*Hunter Atkins writes that, if Jay Bruce can steal a base on the Astros' catchers, the rest of the league is probably going to try.
*Jenny Dial Creech: Alex Bregman is living his best life.
*Eno Sarris has a good look in The Athletic ($) on the two adjustments that J.D. Davis made this offseason.
*Jonathan Mayo has a Q&A with 2017 1st Round pick J.B. Bukauskas, in which he talks about getting ready for his first full season of pro ball and working on his changeup.
*There will be a free event - Domecoming - on April 9, where you can go inside the Astrodome before the renovations start. Registration starts today.
*Jesse Rogers talked to Ted Barrett about life behind the catcher.