HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) – The state of Houston sports is in a unique position.
For nearly a decade, Houston sports fans have marveled at the incredible talent of James Harden, the timeliness of George Springer, and the leadership qualities of both J.J. Watt and Deshaun Watson.
2022 will look a bit different.
Former Rockets star James Harden is the newest big name of the Brooklyn Nets. Former Houston Astros player George Springer traded his t-shirt for a winter coat with a move to the Toronto Blue Jays. Former Texans defensive tackle J.J. Watt is headed to the Arizona Cardinals and, with ongoing frustration with the organization and recent sexual assault allegations, Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson may not be too far behind Watt on an exit strategy.
So, who will Houston sports fans marvel at for the next couple of years? Houston Sports Talk 790 Radio Host Adam Wexler thinks he may have the answer.
“You almost realize as you are asking the question that you almost have no possibilities on the Texans anymore, even though that would have been the clear favorite with Deshaun Watson and J.J. Watt,” Wexler explained. “They had two guys above all the rest, even with all the success the Astros had.”
The marketability of James Harden, if not his beard alone, certainly drew attention to the Rockets organization during a recent run of success as well. Now, with some of Houston’s greatest athletes on the move, Wexler points to Minute Maid Park.
“The answer is Carlos Correa,” Wexler said of the Houston Astros shortstop. “If, they spend the next 25 days finalizing a contract extension for Correa, because, if they don’t, he can’t be the face of the city, because he will only be here for six more months.”
Wexler saID Alex Bregman would be a clear-second choice despite a recent run of poor form. Regardless, with a new era beginning for the Texans and a 20-game losing streak for the rockets (at the time of writing), Wexler sees 2021 as an opportunity to enjoy a run of success with one of Houston’s most successful franchises.
“[The Astros] are the team to watch,” Wexler says. “Five teams will make the playoffs and they will be one of them.”
The latest Player Empirical Comparison and Optimization Test Algorithm (PECOTA) projections would agree with Wexler’s claims.
The MLB’s projection system gives the Houston Astros a 72 percent chance to win the division, second only to the New York Yankees in the American League. The Astros enter 2021 with a projected record of 93-69, the fourth-highest win total in the entirety of Major League Baseball.
So, state of Houston sports is in a unique position.
A city that has enjoyed step-back three-pointers, powerful sacks and elite-quarterback play will soon realize:
A new star will reign over the Houston sports scene, and it will probably come from the only team that’s won a championship since the year 1995.