If the Houston Astros weren't already the favorites to win the American League pennant this season, they definitely are the team to beat following Wednesday afternoon's MLB trade deadline.
The Astros swung for the fences Wednesday, making a splash for talented starting pitcher Zack Greinke in a trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Grienke has been one of the best starters in the National League this season, posting a 10-4 record with a 2.87 ERA and 128 strikeouts over 141 innings. Houston also acquired reliever Joe Biagini and depth starter Aaron Sanchez from the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Astros and Yankees both lead their respective divisions and likely were targeting the same pitchers at the deadline. The Yankees failed to make any impactful moves at the deadline despite having weaknesses in both their rotation and bullpen. And as The Athletic's Marc Carig pointed out on Twitter, this isn't the first time the Astros have owned the Yankees at this time of the year.
That is now twice that the Astros have outmaneuvered the Yankees at a time when they were chasing the same type of players. The optics are horrific.— Marc Carig (@MarcCarig) July 31, 2019
The Astros rotation now is headlined by Gerrit Cole, Justin Verlander and Greinke. This is an incredibly formidable trio that should be tough to beat in a playoff series.
Zack Greinke gives the #Astros four starting pitchers with an ERA+ over 140 (Verlander, Cole, Miley)
No team has had four starters with an ERA+ over 140 since the 1907 Cubs https://t.co/JpTMR7rYaF pic.twitter.com/ZGGQZbYKek— Baseball Reference (@baseball_ref) July 31, 2019
Houston last reached the World Series in 2017 when they defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers for their first title in team history. After adding three good pitchers at the trade deadline to a roster that already had earned the best record in the AL, it would be surprising if the Astros failed to return to the Fall Classic in October.
Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.