Red Sox

Red Sox

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.

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.

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 for the biggest winners and losers from the MLB trade deadline>>>

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