The Houston Astros came into the 2019 MLB season with a chip on their shoulder. After losing to the Red Sox in the ALCS last season, the team was focused on bringing back their second World Series championship since 2017. Houston was doing a good job of maintaining that goal all season long, but the needed something a little more. Something that could push them over the top in the playoffs. Astros GM Jeff Luhnow could see how hungry this team was and pulled off a blockbuster trade by dealing for Zack Greinke to bring another entree to the table. The deal sent four minor league players to the Diamondbacks. Houston isn’t stingy when it comes to their prospects as they did the same thing to acquire Justin Verlander back in 2017.
The Astros already had a dominant pitching staff this season and adding Greinke just makes it even more dangerous. They currently rank third in all of major league baseball with a 3.72 era, but they lead the league with a .217 opponents’ batting average. Offensively, they currently rank sixth in the league which gives them an extremely good team going down the stretch. Houston has the best record in the American League, and if they keep up with this pace they will have a rematch against the Dodgers in October. After the Greinke deal, Online sports betting sites in NJ have increased the odds of the Astros making the World Series again. A prediction that already had the Astros as the favorites.
What Luhnow did was not only make the Astros better than what they were at the trade deadline, he also gave this team a shot of adrenaline going into the last two months of the season. That showed on Saturday when Aaron Sanchez shut down the Seattle Mariners for six innings to lead the Astros to a combined no-hitter with relievers Will Harris, Joe Biagini, and Chris Devenski. Biagini was also part of the deal that brought Sanchez to Houston earlier this week. The reason that this shows the fire that Luhnow now has burning fierce in Houston is how Sanchez was dead last in the MLB in pitching with a 6.07 era among qualifiers. Yet, he went out there against the Mariners and put on a dominating performance. That’s because this team believes in what has been built and they know that there isn’t much that stands in their way from bringing back their second-ever World Series title.
The Astros are the epitome of mid-market teams that built up a team from their farm system and then dealt for solid players. Some teams are so used to relying on their youth, that they’re afraid of giving it up for a few key pieces to go for the pennant. This is what separates the Astros from other teams and why we’ll see them make a strong run towards their championship run again this season.