The Houston Astros, as you probably already know, are the returning champs. And here is why they can do it again.
The Astros return most of their starters from last year. This year they will get a full season of Justin Verlander, who was phenomenal for them during the second half and in the playoffs. With the addition of Gerrit Cole, Houston has arguably the best starting rotation in baseball. The bullpen also got a little help with Joe Smith and Hector Rondon, not big names but more than serviceable relievers.
The Astros lineup is still one of the best in baseball. With an MVP and World Series MVP, from top to bottom this is the most consistent lineup in the league. Everyone in the lineup aside from Brian McCann can hit the ball over the fence and for a good average.
With a starting 5 of Verlander, Kuechel, Cole, McCullers, and Morton/Peacock they are going to be really hard to beat. I mean the 4 top guys can all compete for a CY YOUNG or have already won one! That’s incredible!
The lineup stays the same with 1. Springer 2. Bregman 3. Altuve 4. Correa 5. Gurriel (after he returns from injury) 6. Reddick 7. Gonzalez 8. McCann 9. Marisnick. This is a terrifying lineup that won’t be forced to put up many runs with the electric pitching staff the Astros now have.
Expect to see this team back in the Fall Classic and possibly win it all once again!