Baseball for the fans of the Astros and Cubs hasn't been this much fun for a while. Sure, baseball is always fun to certain degrees, but it's pretty tough to stay positive through massive rebuilds, even if you know said rebuild is necessary. In fact, baseball is the most difficult sport in which to be a fan of a terrible team because you get a nice little reminder every freaking day. That's 162 games of agony because, really, even the good moments are known outliers.
In 2012, we saw the Cubs go 61-101 while the Astros went 55-107. The following year, the Cubs won 66 games while the Astros regressed to 51. Last season, the Astros moved all the way up to 70 wins while the Cubs got to 73. Progress!
But, seriously, getting excited over not even coming close to contending for the playoffs? C'mon.
This season may be the proverbial turning of the corner for each of the franchises, both of which are varying degrees of being well set up for the future, too. The Astros are in first place in the AL West while the Cubs are just one game out in the NL Central, riding a four-game winning streak.
Both teams are real fun to watch, too. They each have power and are aggressive on the bases. There are young franchise cornerstones in Jose Altuve and Anthony Rizzo along with plenty of other young talent to boot. If we want to talk about Kris Bryant or Addison Russell, the Astros' version (Carlos Correa) will be arriving soonish and it's possible he'll be even better.
It's a pretty exciting time to be either an Astros or Cubs fan and it's been a long time since we could say that and actually be talking about the present, not the distant future.
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Also, if you are going to pick out one team and say that team is ranked too high, I probably agree with you. We're still in that range with tons of mediocrity to be sorted out and this time it was once I got to No. 9 where I started feeling like every single team until about the mid-20s was too high.