After pounding the Rangers this past week, the Astros have a chance to take control in the AL West

The Houston Astros swept the Rangers in a Texas-sized rout. Now the question is whether the defending World Series champions will deny the AL West a thrilling division race. The Astros won three games at Texas by a combined score of 39-10 this past week. Then they followed that up by taking two of three at home against San Diego. Houston now leads the AL West by 2 1/2 games over Seattle and three over Texas. And there’s more bad news for those two challengers: Nine of the Astros’ next 12 games are against Oakland or Kansas City.