Outlook for these Astros

How do you put it nicely … I don't expect the 2012 Houston Astros to be nearly the colossal train wreck that many people are predicting.

So, that's a positive outlook, relatively speaking.

Vegas set the over/under on Astros wins at 63. So if you're betting the under, you're saying the Astros will lose 100 games again this season.

But I'm not buying the under. Give me the over. I'm predicting 75 wins for this team.

I'd break down their roster, except that I don't know any of them well enough to go into too much detail. Wandy Rodriguez will be the leading pitcher, and he'll have a respectable ERA and a losing record, thanks to pitiful run support.

Carlos Lee will be overpaid. I'll predict Jose Altuve will be a bright spot offensively … unless he's not.

All things considered, I think 23 wins in the first third of the season will be a good start for this group. Then in the middle 54-game stretch, 27 wins. And the 'Stros will limp in with 25 wins over the final third of the schedule.

75 wins. Not “good,” but competitive in stretches, but also capable of a 6-game losing skid at any moment.

They won't have the worst record in the majors. But they won't scare the division leaders.