This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.
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"Then there are the Astros, who went 107-55 and were never seriously challenged by even a very good A’s team. Prospectus calls Houston one of the best teams in baseball history, with a third-order record of 117-45 (116-46 if you want to round down). They had the best offense in baseball, by far. They had the best defense in baseball. They had the third-best pitching in baseball, although reducing staffs to just the pitchers who will be used in the playoffs makes up a lot of the gap between them and the teams ahead of them.
"It’s hard to underestimate a team that just produced the best record in baseball, that won a World Series two years ago, that has won 100 games three straight seasons, that had a book written about them, that traded for a Hall of Fame starting pitcher at the deadline. We might be there with these Astros, though."