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Astros 2011 Season To Be Defined By Next Two Weeks

The Astros have found themselves in an interesting scenario. Their 8-14 record is good for last place in the NL Central. It is also tied with the Mets for the worst record in the National League and just a half game off the worst record in the majors.

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But the NL Central has been a Kindergarten fight thus far. 

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St. Louis has the worst record of any division leader at a modest 12-10. Outside of the Cardinals, the rest of the crew is hovering around .500. Milwaukee is in second place at 11-10, and the Reds, Cubs, and Pirates fill out the division at or under .500. And then there are the Astros, six games under .500 but just four games back of first place.

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And with the next fifteen games against NL Central opponents, this may be the last opportunity for the Astros to gain some significant ground. The Astros are set to host the Cardinals, Reds, and Brewers. They will also travel to Pittsburgh and Cincinnati.  

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These five series will end up writing the script for the 2011 season; will the Astros crash and burn into the abyss that is the NL Central, or will they make a run at a widely winnable division? The Astros will be getting some help with the returns of Clint Barmes and Jeff Keppinger, but this team may need more than some middle infield help. 

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Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.