For the second time in a period of three years, the Houston Astros are in the World Series. This time around, they are heavy favorites against the NL pennant-winning Washington Nationals. More likely than not, Astros GM Jeff Luhnow will deliver another World Series to the city of Houston.
In a recent column by Dan Bernstein of Sporting News, the concept that the Houston Astros are the class of Major League Baseball and are in a tier by themselves is discussed. All season long, the Houston Astros, New York Yankees, and Los Angeles Dodgers were in the discussion to be baseball’s best team. Only one of them made it to the World Series.
The Yankees and Dodgers are expected to do what it takes to be a step ahead of the league.
They are not at that level right now.
Instead, it's the Astros once again in the World Series and at the top of the sport, leaving more established names behind. https://t.co/5fZwnU9WKn
— Sporting News MLB (@sn_mlb) October 20, 2019
Astros Making Moves
The Houston Astros have consistently made the big move and like the Dodgers, have also supplemented their roster by not making certain trades. The Dodgers’ unwillingness to part with prospects has undoubtedly been the smart way of approaching it considering that the prospects they did not trade have become well above-average major leaguers.
The difference, though, is that the Astros make free agent acquisitions that pan out in addition to big trades. Gerrit Cole, the league’s best pitcher as it stands, was acquired for next to nothing from the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Astros’ amazing analytical department helped turn him into potentially the richest pitcher in the history of the game come winter. At the trade deadline in 2018, they acquired All-Star reliever Ryan Pressly. They acquired Roberto Osuna. They got Justin Verlander. They also got Zack Greinke this July.
The Dodgers got Manny Machado and Yu Darvish, the market’s hottest commodities at the time, but they still never translated into a World Series title. The Astros’ moves might translate into two.
In 2013, when the Dodgers won their first NL West division title of their seven consecutive, the Houston Astros were a 51-111 ball club. Now, six years later, the Astros have won a title — possibly two — and the Dodgers have not.