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20 reasons why the Houston Astros are your new favorite baseball team

They aren’t all “because they aren’t the Dodgers,” though I thought of doing that.

Houston Astros v San Francisco Giants
Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Dodgers are in the World Series. You broke the emergency glass like you were supposed to, and all that was in there was a note that read, “lol what now, idiot?” There is no help, no reprieve. It was so much more fun when they weren’t in the World Series, if we’re being honest. It’s still possible for them to lose, but we’ve already arrived at the least desirable Dodgers-lose scenario.

But there is an upside to the Dodgers being in the World Series: We don’t need to talk about rooting interests. The Yankees were kind enough to lose the final two games of the ALCS, so we don’t have to wade through that miserable scenario. The Houston Astros are opposing the Dodgers, and they are a much easier team to root for. They don’t need to be a complicated anti-hero in the context of the Dodgers; they can just be a likeable team that’s easy to root for.

I can help with that. Here are 20 reasons why the Houston Astros are your new favorite baseball team, and not all of them are “Because they aren’t the Dodgers,” even if that’s enough.

  1. Jose Altuve plays for the Astros, and he’s basically Ken Rosenthal with the power to hit a baseball 440 feet. I love, love, love watching him play, and the best part is that it seems like he sure loves playing, too.
  2. Carlos Correa is the kind of player the Giants can get with the second-overall pick next June. Remember this. He is a gigantic, nimble young man, and he’s a perfect Robin to Altuve’s diminutive, less fascist Batman.
  3. Houston could use some good news this year. It’s a unique, sprawling, diverse town that’s an American metaphor on 39 different levels, a happy mess of an accident, and I like it. I will keep plugging this feature until you read it, so just open the tab already.
  4. The Astros haven’t won a single World Series game in franchise history. There are only two other teams that can claim that (Nationals/Mariners), and I’m a sucker for droughts. Even the Padres have won a World Series game.
  5. Charlie Morton suddenly throwing 97 mph because he wants to makes me feel hope for someone like Chris Stratton.
  6. The Astros are a little bullpen-thin right now, which makes it easier to pretend they’re the Giants.
  7. The ex-Giants on the Astros are perfect monuments to the Giants’ season of sadness (Francisco Liriano, Carlos Beltran), whereas the ex-Giant on the Dodgers (Charlie Culberson) is a symbol of Giants happiness that the Dodgers are trying to retcon.
  8. Mostly, though, I’m a Carlos Beltran fan, and I’m happy for another chance to annoy Beltran-hating Giants fan.
  9. Mike Scott can’t hurt you anymore.
  10. Evan Gattis is a weird, wooly dude, and I’m fascinated by him.
  11. Kevin Goldstein is a friend of the program, and he’s an executive with the Astros now. He’s a swell fellow, and it’d be nice for him to get a ring.
  12. The Astros traded Jeffrey Leonard to the Giants, and it feels like we haven’t properly thanked them yet.
  13. And while we’re thanking them, what about Matt Cain’s perfect game? That was a sweet gesture, and the least we can do is repay them with our cheers and good wishes.
  14. I still remember this 13-0 shellacking in 2009 because those were the only 13 runs the Giants scored all year. Good times, good times.
  15. The Astros are proof that a team can sleep in a septic tank and emerge as a mayoral candidate in just three years, metaphorically sleeping. Considering that you root for a team that slept in a septic tank last year, you should feel encouraged by the Astros.
  16. I’ve always liked Justin Verlander. His earnest marveling at Pablo Sandoval’s home run in the 2012 World Series was such a fun moment.
  17. It was Houston that drafted and developed Hunter Pence, and whatever experiments they ran on him worked. Anything associated with Hunter Pence is good enough for me. Except for the 2017 Giants.
  18. A.J. Hinch went to Stanford, which is a positive, unless you went to Cal. If that’s the case, you can root for him as a former A’s player, unless you don’t like the A’s. If that’s the case, you can note that he had 1,075 plate appearances in the majors and never homered once against the Giants.
  19. Really, all you need to know is that Jose Altuve is on the Astros and Chase Utley is on the Dodgers. That’s it. 1 Reason Why the Houston Astros Are Your New Favorite Baseball Team
  20. They’re not the Dodgers.

The last one is probably the most important one. But I promise you that there are other reasons to like the Astros. It’s a fun team. And they can “hit,” which is wild. Hopefully the Dodgers won’t be as successful at stymying them as the Yankees were, and we can live vicariously through a team that can score more than three runs a game.

The Dodgers are in the World Series, and that stinks. But it could have been the Yankees or Red Sox opposing them. It could have been the Angels. Could have been a team that’s much harder to care about, like the Rays or Twins. Instead, it’s a supremely likeable team that’s easy to root for.

And, don’t forget, they aren’t the Dodgers.