What's Next: Astros hope to keep rolling

Mets, Yanks look to hold onto East leads; Royals, Tigers meet again

What's Next: Astros hope to keep rolling

Last week, the Astros continued building their current 10-game winning streak and vaulted to the best record in Major League Baseball.

What's next for the sudden darlings of the diamond, an exciting young club with a tantalizing mix of power, speed and the dynamo that brings it all together for them, last year's American League batting champion Jose Altuve?

How about a trip into the stratosphere?

The Astros have the chance to keep the streak going this week with a favorable schedule that has them matched up against the Rangers (home series) and Angels (road), two teams that are off to sluggish starts in 2015.

"It's been the most fun personally I've ever had on a team, and I think we might have something special," Houston slugger Evan Gattis said after he hit two homers and his team swept the Mariners on Sunday.

Must C: Gattis hits two homers

He's got a point. After a miserable start to the season, Gattis has batted .355 (11-for-31) with five homers and 16 RBIs in his last nine games.

The Astros among the elite of the game is something we haven't seen in a while. They hadn't won 10 in a row since 2004. But one of the other hot teams right now is doing things that are a tad more expected.

That would be the same-old-same-old Cardinals. Despite the fact that they spent the last seven days dealing with the devastating news that their staff ace and team leader, Adam Wainwright, will miss the rest of the season with a torn Achilles tendon, the Cardinals got on the field and did what they have tended to do for the last, oh, decade or so. They won games.

Sunday's 14th-inning, Kolten Wong walk-off homer over the Pirates capped a series of extra-inning walk-offs, and Mike Matheny's team has now won six in a row to find itself in the familiar position of first place in the National League Central.

Wong's walk-off solo blast

This week brings St. Louis two stern tests against key foes, with the Cubs coming to Busch Stadium for a four-pack early in the week and the Redbirds hitting the road for a weekender in Pittsburgh.

Elsewhere, some of the division rivalries we were expecting since last year are in full percolation mode.

After a weekend set in Kansas City in which the defending AL Central champion Tigers and defending AL Central runner-up, but pennant-winning, Royals forged a 2-2 series split, there is but a half-game separating the two teams atop the Central standings, with the Tigers at 17-9 and the Royals at 16-9.

This week, the Royals start with the Indians at home and the Tigers head to Chicago for three against the White Sox, but over the weekend the two teams will be right at each other's throats again, this time in Detroit.

And how about that Subway Surprise?

Not many prognosticators had the Yankees or the Mets in first place in their respective Easts at this, or any, point in the season, but here we are entering the first full week of May, and there they are.

This week, the Mets have a short five-game schedule, with the Orioles at home for two and three against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Matt Harvey Day, for all you Dark Knight fans, is slated for Friday night in Philly, and the big right-hander will be gunning to improve his record to 6-0.

The Yanks will tangle in Toronto for three games against the Blue Jays before returning to the Bronx for a weekend set vs. the Orioles.

Elsewhere, the second month of the season might bring teams relief in the form of the long-awaited returns of big-name players from injuries.

Early this week, we could see Royals closer Greg Holland come back from a right pectoral strain and make the Kansas City bullpen even stronger.

If all goes well, we could also see Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon getting closer to returning from a knee injury and Mets third baseman David Wright just about ready to rejoin the Mets after a disabled list stint brought on by hamstring woes.

Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.