The Houston Astros should be everyone’s World Series favorite right now.
Only because they started off slowly this year have the Houston Astros been unable to catch the Los Angeles Dodgers for the best record in baseball. There’s still time and if they have proven anything this season it’s that they are capable of beating anyone.
The Astros have been a World Series contender for several years now. They’ve come away with a 2017 championship and losses in 2019 and 2021 during their World Series appearances. It’s not quite enough, though. This is a team built to accomplish more.
This season’s Astros club has championship aspirations. For these reasons, they should be everyone’s favorite to win the 2022 World Series even over the Dodgers growing IL might move them into second.
1. Astros have an unbreakable starting rotation
Justin Verlander has led the way but he has gotten plenty of help. Framber Valdez, Cristian Javier, Jose Urquidy, and Luis Garcia have all been fabulous. Most importantly, they’ve been healthy, too. Behind Verlander, 39, they’ve been an impressive young group.
Best of all, they already have a reinforcement back in the mix. Lance McCullers Jr. recently returned from the IL to give them a potential six-man rotation. The club already traded Jake Odorizzi, who had been decent for them, and now have a better pitcher to take his place.
While a six-man rotation is probably a bad idea for the entire 162-game schedule, it can be a huge help in these final weeks. An extra day of rest can go a long way. Houston might want to think about narrowing things down at some point. You don’t want pitchers to get too comfortable in one routine shortly before the playoffs.
However it is Dusty Baker plans to manage this rotation, the Astros have arms. Lots of them. Good ones, too. Quality starting pitching is what can make the biggest difference in the postseason. Without it, your team has no shot.