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Houston Astros Preview

ABOUT BASEBALL breaks down & previews the 2005 Houston Astros.

2004 Record: 92-70, 2nd place in NL Central
'04 Playoffs: Lost to St. Louis in NLCS
Home Ballpark: Minute Maid Park
Manager: Phil Garner

2005 Prediction: 89-73, 2nd place in NL Central

ADDITIONS: RP - Dave Burba, SP - Brandon Duckworth, RP - John Franco

SUBTRACTIONS: OF - Carlos Beltran, 2B - Jeff Kent, SP - Wade Miller, SP - Darren Oliver, RP - Dan Miceli

LINEUP: Craig Biggio (2B), Adam Everett (SS), Jeff Bagwell (1B), Jason Lane (RF), Morgan Ensberg (3B), Orlando Palmeiro (LF), Willy Taveras (CF), Brad Ausmus (C)

ROTATION: Roy Oswalt (RHP), Andy Pettitte (LHP), Roger Clemens (RHP), Brandon Backe (RHP), Ezequiel Astacio (RHP)

CLOSER: Brad Lidge (RHP)

OUTLOOK: Losing Beltran & Kent kills the lineup, but the return of Pettitte will make the 'Stros staff one to be reckoned with.

Berkman is out for at least a month, so Houston's bench and new full-time players will have to step up in the run production department. Because baseball is a pitcher's game - the Astros will remain competitive. 

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