Astros opening day 2021: 5 things to watch for this season

Houston Astros' Jose Altuve is congratulated by Carlos Correa after hitting a solo home run against Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Tyler Glasnow during the first inning in Game 4 of a baseball American League Championship Series, Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Houston Astros' Jose Altuve is congratulated by Carlos Correa after hitting a solo home run against Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Tyler Glasnow during the first inning in Game 4 of a baseball American League Championship Series, Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

HOUSTON – The Houston Astros open the 2021 season in Oakland, following a losing 2020 shortened regular season, then an exciting playoff run in which the ‘Stros nearly came back down 3-0 vs. the Rays.

Houston should have some more reinforcements after battling injuries with several key players in 2020.

Here are five things to watch for this season:

CORREA EXTENSION

Carlos Correa’s deadline has passed, but many times extensions still get done. The 26-year-old shortstop acknowledged he turned down a 6-year, $120 million offer from the Astros a couple of weeks ago. That offer looks worse in light of the recent Mets deal with shortstop Francisco Lindor, in which he was paid $341 million over 10 years.

The big drawback with Correa is his injury history, but when he’s been healthy, he’s been one of the best shortstops in baseball. One thing in Correa’s favor is his extreme postseason success, hitting 17 home runs and 50 RBI in just 63 postseason games. Correa hit six home runs in just 13 postseason games last year, hitting a scorching .362.

Correa’s big question has been centered around health, but now the extension adds another query for the former 1st overall pick.

THE CENTER FIELD PROBLEM


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