A glance at the standings shows the Houston Astros still in control of the AL West, sporting a 70-57 record and a four and a half game lead over the Texas Rangers entering play Wednesday.
The remarkable turnaround of the Astros is a fine reflection on the work of first-year manager A.J. Hinch, and should easily put him in the running for the American League's Manager of the Year Award.
If the Astros hold on to their division lead and lock up a previously unexpected postseason trip, Hinch looks like a shoo-in for the award - an argument backed up by CBS Sports' Matt Snyder in his new piece rounding up the most deserving candidates.
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Here's his reasoning why Hinch could wind up winning:
The AL is loaded with strong candidates for Manager of the Year, including Jeff Banister of the Texas Rangers, Ned Yost of the Kansas City Royals and John Gibbons of the Toronto Blue Jays, but at the moment this is probably Hinch's battle to lose.