HOUSTON (AP) -- The Houston Astros have a grand total of five players with more than two years of major league experience, a first-year manager and a move to the American League to deal with, too.
They also have a payroll projected to be the lowest in baseball since the Florida Marlins spent just under $22 million in 2008.
So why are they so optimistic they can avoid becoming the first team in a half-century to lose 106 games in three consecutive seasons?
General manager Jeff Luhnow says he doesn't see youth as a detriment and believes he's assembled a talented group of players with "a tremendous amount of upside." He says Houston should be much better than people expect.