Admit it, Astros haters: You need these villains in your life

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The Houston sports scene in general remains a disappointment. The Rockets are playing golf and looking for a new coach. The Texans? Pretty much a national joke. But there is good news. The XFL will be back in 2020, and the team everyone outside of Houston hates is still alive in the playoffs.

After slogging along in the shortened season with a losing record, the Astros swept the Twins and will play either Oakland or the White Sox, teams they are certainly capable of beating to reach the ALCS for a fourth straight year.

The best part? The whiny national media, MLB and fans of other teams get to vent about 2017 all over again.

If MLB were smart (I know, that phrase is ridiculous) they would embrace the hatred. Make it a redemption tour. Don't we all love a redemption story? Become more like the WWE. The Astros went from the lovable good guys to heels. Now they try to turn back and win it "the right way."

No one will admit it, but the Astros being alive is the best thing that could happen to baseball. The sport is struggling, and now going up against football, it needs all the attention it can get.

Enter the Astros, who will enable the keyboard warriors and talking heads of the world to spew hyperbole and keep the cheating story alive. The faux outrage will get clicks and ratings. Imagine if the Astros were to make it all the way to the Series again - against the Dodgers, no less. It would dominate the sports headlines, even in an NFL world.

If they lose, the angry mob will have nothing to complain about. They will get a day of "ha ha, the cheaters lost," then will have to retreat back to their basements. Baseball will once again take a back seat to the NFL.

So if you are one of those "I hate the cheaters" people, you should join Astros fan and root for them to keep winning. It will give your meaningless life some purpose. You can extend your pointless outrage for a couple weeks.

From a baseball perspective, the Astros aren't last year's group. The pitching is piecemeal, they have no real ace, and the hitting has not been what it should be. They beat a team that has lost 18 straight playoff games. But they have enough to beat Chicago or Oakland in a five game series. Tampa or New York would be a stretch, but they do have playoff pedigree, and if they can get enough pitching, anything is possible.

Admit it, haters: You need the Astros, Would there be a Star Wars without the empire? Did you not celebrate when Darth Vader turned from the dark side? Rejoice. You have a villain.

The villain baseball needs.

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Houston is falling down the rankings

Tigers pound Odorizzi, Astros with homers as Houston drops fourth in a row

The Astros have not looked great in their last four games. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

After watching their hot start of 6-1 cool down to a 6-4 record with three straight losses, the Astros returned to Minute Maid Park on Tuesday night, looking to do a better job at home against a beatable Tigers team.

Recent games' woes would continue, though, with Houston's pitching getting blasted by the opposing offense and their own bats primarily quiet.

Final Score: Tigers 8, Astros 2

Astros' Record: 6-5, tied for second in AL West

Winning Pitcher: Matthew Boyd (2-1)

Losing Pitcher: Jake Odorizzi (0-1)

Astros score first, then Tigers unload on Odorizzi

Houston looked to have something brewing in the bottom of the second, with three singles in the first four batters of the inning, the third an RBI-single by Myles Straw to put the Astros in front 1-0. However, Matthew Boyd would limit the damage, getting back-to-back strikeouts to end the threat.

After two easy innings for Jake Odorizzi in his regular-season debut for his new team, he would allow a game-tying solo homer to Akil Baddoo, his fourth of the year, in the top of the third. Detroit struck again in the top of the fourth, getting a leadoff double to set up a two-run go-ahead home run to jump ahead 3-1.

They didn't stop there, getting another two-run bomb later in the same inning; a frame that would take Odorizzi 31 pitches to get only one out before Houston would bring in Bryan Abreu to get the last two outs. Odorizzi's final line in his debut: 3.1 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 3 HR, 0 BB, 4 K, 80 P.

Detroit continues home run parade, Houston loses fourth in a row

Abreu would hope to do what Luis Garcia did the night before, eat up as many innings as possible after a poor outing from Houston's starter. The Tigers would get yet another two-run homer, though, in the top of the fifth, extending their lead to 7-1, with all seven runs coming over a three-inning span. For good measure, they'd knock one more out with two outs in the top of the ninth, making it 8-1.

As far as Houston at the plate, other than their string of hits to bring in a run earlier in the second, they were getting nothing done against Boyd, who would go six and two-thirds innings. Detroit's bullpen would finish things off, despite an all-too-late sac fly by the Astros in the bottom of the ninth, with Houston dropping their fourth-straight game and continuing to lose ground in the division.

Up Next: The finale of this three-game set with Detroit will be an hour earlier on Wednesday, getting underway at 6:10 PM Central. Lance McCullers Jr. (1-0, 1.80 ERA) will try to maintain his perfect record and improve upon his two five-inning one-run starts for the Astros, going opposite of Michael Fulmer (0-0, 2.57 ERA) for the Tigers.

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